Volunteers, board members and employees from the American Red Cross Southwest Washington Chapter participated in the 29th annual Veterans Day Parade in Vancouver, Washington, on Saturday, November 7. While the day started with dry streets, the forecasted rain made its initial appearance just before the pre-parade ceremonies began. Despite the deluge that followed, Red Cross members shouldered on, serving coffee and doughnuts to parade spectators and participants. Board members drove golf carts up and down the parade route, delighting many people who received a cup of hot coffee and a doughnut to go with it. More people were treated to refreshments at the Red Cross tent centrally located on Officers’ Row.
There were more than 100 entries in the parade which included marching bands, horses, clowns, Buffalo Soldiers, antique vehicles, hot rods, motorcycles, fire trucks, military vehicles and much more. Led by Red Cross youth club members from several high schools, the Southwest Washington Red Cross entry in the parade featured a brand new Emergency Response Vehicle, or ERV, generously donate by Tesoro Corporation. Youth members passed out candy to children along the route as they proudly waved American flags and held a banner declaring “We Love Our Veterans.”
As the parade wound its way along the route, Red Cross volunteers sought out veterans and current members of the armed forces, shook their hands, and made certain to thank each one for his or her service.
At the end of the parade, everyone was soaking wet, but all felt good about spending a few hours to honor our veterans and service members for the sacrifices they’ve made to ensure our freedoms.