A Black Hawk helicopter and several planes flew over downtown Fresno on Saturday morning as crowds cheered and waved American flags during the 98th annual Veterans Day Parade. Vietnam Army veteran Bob McLaughlin was the grand marshal this year, and the parade was dedicated to the U.S. Army.
Tricia Martinez sat in the shade with her daughter Dionicia as they watched the parade go by. For Martinez, the parade holds a special place in her heart.
“My late husband was in the Air Force,” she said. “He got back in 2002, and he died a year after.” Martinez said her husband succumbed to cancer on Nov. 10, and Nov. 12 is their wedding anniversary, making Veterans Day even more special to her.
Martinez attends the parade every year to remember him and all veterans, she said, including her father, who was also in the Air Force and served during the Vietnam War.
She is also teaching Dionicia how to honor veterans. “I want her to always honor those who serve, respect them because they are fighting for our country and our flag. I always make it a point to thank them and buy them a meal if I can.”
Terry and Pamela Romey said it was their first Veterans Day in Fresno after moving from Las Vegas. They brought along their dogs Banya, a German shepherd, and Lambert, a shepherd and Lab mix, to watch.
Terry Romey said he was pleasantly surprised at the turnout in Fresno, and they already plan to attend next year. “We love America, and we want to honor the veterans,” he said.