While the largest Veterans Day parade on the West Coast was going on in downtown Fresno, thousands of folks celebrated and honored the nation’s veterans at Clovis Veterans Memorial District over the course of the day.
A pancake breakfast hosted by Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3225 began at 7 a.m., with local Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts troops refilling coffee for attendees and busing tables.
At 9:30, Hughes Avenue between 3rd and 5th streets was renamed Veterans Parkway.
“One of our visions for the future was to turn this into a festive parkway where people could come and hold festivals and gatherings,” said Clovis Veterans Memorial District board chairman Tom Wright. “You can’t see it, but under the sidewalks and the street is the infrastructure for turning this entire street into a Disneyland-style, optical, visual, sound system that can host really, really fine festivals and gatherings ... Culminating that is renaming the street Veterans Parkway.”
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“This entire complex is our tribute, our statue in the park for veterans of Clovis and it’s just a great thing to do.”
Mayor Nathan Magsig helped unveil the new street sign, but not before paying tribute to the country’s veterans.
“While we celebrate Veterans Day once a year, here in Clovis we celebrate veterans every single day,” he said. “I appreciate that fact because I look at the backbone of this country. This country was built on our veterans, individuals who’ve made tremendous sacrifices … Today is a day to not only remember those veterans who lost their lives in the line of duty, but also those veterans who’ve served and bring home scars, and those scars they carry with them for the rest of their life.
“But this beautiful country that we have, this beautiful community of Clovis that we have, we wouldn’t be able to celebrate and enjoy many of the things we have if it wasn’t for them.”
Hundreds of veterans and supporters attended a Patriotic Concert performed by Clovis Community Band, and attendees later streamed into a book signing by local veteran authors who have written about their wartime experiences.
Posters created by local elementary school students for a Veterans Day art contest hung on the walls inside CVMD throughout the day; local veterans displayed their memorabilia as well.
Veterans Day came to an end with hundreds of veterans gathering for a complimentary dinner served in CVMD.