ALTOONA, Pa. (WTAJ) – The Memorial Day parade in downtown Altoona on Monday morning was a huge success, with hundreds of people in attendance.
The parade was a beautiful display of patriotism and solidarity and a reminder of the importance of honoring our veterans.
The event featured dozens of cars from first responders, the Jaffa Shriners and much more. The parade passed through intersections in the downtown area.
The parade is a significant support system for the veterans to show appreciation and those who gave the ultimate sacrifice are remembered. The master of the ceremony John Clay agreed as the holiday is to remember those lost.
“We have an amazing support network for our veterans and I feel very supported. Just walking in the parade today and the warmth of community, everybody feels a sense of pride of gathering for Memorial Day,” Clay said.
Reflecting on Memorial Day is difficult for many but having the support of the community makes the difference. Board of Supervision in Logan Township, Jim Patterson said the holiday is all about remembrance.
“Memorial Day to me is to honor our fallen veterans who are no longer with us. To the parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and it’s a hard time to reflect,” Patterson said.
Many have lost loved ones through serving. The captain of the Newburg Fire Department, James Smith lost Larry Parks who served in Afghanistan back in 2007. Parks served as a Volunteer Fire Department for eight years.
“It is definitely a special place in my heart. Larry the firefighter who passed away was a soldier in Afghanistan. He was family so memorial day means a lot,” Smith said.
Many veterans came out in support of each other. Don Goebel served in the coast guard for 33 years and is happy to be back in Altoona reflecting.
“To the guys and women who sacrificed their lives just for our freedom,” Goebel said.