by Sgt. Philip Klein
4th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office
Soldiers from the 4th Infantry Division and Fort Carson joined with area schools and veteran organizations to pay tribute to the nation’s veterans during parades in Colorado Springs and Pueblo Saturday.
More than 100 military and local service organizations joined the 2009 Colorado Springs Veterans Day Parade led by the Fort Carson Mounted Color Guard.
Maj. Gen. David G. Perkins, commanding general, 4th Inf. Div. and Fort Carson, said the event demonstrated the close attachment Colorado Springs has for the men in women in uniform.
“Colorado Springs has a great reputation for supporting the military and the community has once again come out to support the veterans of the past and those men and women who are still serving,” said Perkins.
Citizens from Front Range communities lined the streets to honor America’s veterans at the parade that featured local area schools, bands, Junior ROTC cadets, active-duty military and veterans from World
War I to Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
The theme for the 9th Annual Colorado Springs Veterans Day Parade was “Veterans: The Unwavering Force,” signifying the values servicemembers have lived by throughout the past.
Col. Lee Fetterman, 4th Inf. Div. and Fort Carson chief of staff, who represented the Army at the Colorado Springs parade, said he was impressed by the size and scope of the parade.
“I’ve been to a lot of Veterans Day parades and this is one of the largest and best run parades I have ever seen,” said Fetterman. “When you consider the size of the Colorado Springs community this is a very special event.”
Held every year since 2000, the Colorado Springs Veterans Day Parade strives to recognize local veterans by hosting a first-class parade in their honor, said retired veteran John Lamerson, co-founder of the event.
Col. Jim Pasquarette, deputy commanding general – support,
4th Inf. Div., served as the senior reviewing official for the 8th Annual Pueblo Chieftain Veterans Day Parade.
“It’s a privilege to represent 4th Inf. Div. and Fort Carson, it means a lot to me being a veteran, so I brought my Family down with me,” he added.
“There is not a better community than the Front Range Community,” said Pasquarette. “The people go out of their way to care for the Fort Carson Soldiers and their Family members.”
The parade, “Pueblo’s Salute to the Spirit of Our Veterans,” is a way for the city to honor the sacrifice of the veterans, said Cynthia Montanez, convention and tourism director, Greater Pueblo Chamber of Commerce.