Topeka honors veterans with third annual parade

Andrew Shermoen WASHBURN UNIVERSITY

Topeka held its third annual Veterans Day Parade Saturday, Nov. 6, near the State Capitol building.

The parade was sponsored by Military Veterans Project with help from other organizations such as Target and NuSound Hearing, and featured flags that lined the streets of the parade route, several parachutists with colored smoke, and army vehicles of all forms, including a tank and an infantry band.

There were even several civil institutions dedicated to the military and veteran affairs. This included groups such as the Civil Air Patrol, the American Legion, Vietnam Veterans of America, Women Veterans Health Care, and Topeka West Army JROTC. All these groups were followed by servicemen and women in uniform. Amongst them all was Bob Bach who was participating for the third year in a row. The 89-year-old World War II veteran was in his own car with his name plastered on the side. He began serving when he was 17 years old.

There were several participants from the community who were showing their support of veterans and veteran services as they passed out candy on decorated floats and trailers.

The Beverly Bernardi Post Conservatory of Dance had students performing dance routines in red, white and blue.

Topeka Metro decorated one of their busses with American flags and changed its destination sign to read “Thank You Veterans!”

A van pulled a trailer advertising Washburn Law School, and affiliates handed out fliers advertising pro bono legal help for veterans.

There was also a car campaigning for Bernie Sanders with people distributing fliers and candy detailing Sanders views on veteran assistance.

There were also several veteran specific groups at the parade, including a veterans-only biker group.

Many veterans had driven out to view the parade wearing their uniforms and other clothing that denoted them as having served. These veterans were often stopped and told “thank you” by strangers. Several of the veteran attendees waved and shouted cheerily to friends participating in the parade.

For many of the veterans, this was a good time to get together with family.

“The kids can see what the veterans do for us,” said John Lopez, a marine veteran who served for seven years.

Many veterans were proud of the work put into the parade, and that it was important to see how many people supported them and were thankful for what they had done.

Cailey Sanders, a freshman music education major who attended the parade said, “I feel like we could show more appreciation towards veterans; they don’t get recognized very much.”

Students and veterans feel the importance and the weight of both the city and the organizations who helped to organize this event. The citizens of Topeka put the parade on because they believe in the importance of the men and women who have served this country.