by Spc. Beth Raney and Sgt. Philip Klein
4th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office
Soldiers from the 4th Infantry Division and Fort Carson gathered with Front Range schools and veteran organizations to participate in Veterans Day Parades in Pueblo and Colorado Springs Saturday.
Nearly 100 military and local service organizations participated in the 11th Annual Colorado Springs Veterans Day Parade themed “Veterans: Diverse and Determined.”
Citizens from the local communities lined the streets to pay tribute to veterans, past and present, at the parades that featured local area schools, bands Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets, active-duty military units and veterans from the nation’s military conflicts.
The ninth Pueblo Chieftain Veteran’s Day Parade theme was “Pueblo’s Salute to the Spirit of our Veterans.”
Soldiers from Company B, 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Inf. Div., participated in the Pueblo parade, joining many local businesses, community organizations and veteran associations.
Brig. Gen. James H. Doty, acting senior commander, 4th Inf. Div. and Fort Carson, served as the Colorado Springs parade reviewing officer in order to return salutes from military and veterans organizations.
John Lamerson, the vice president of the 2010 Colorado Springs Veterans Day Parade committee, said the committee strives to put on a first-class parade every year to honor and remember the communities’ local veterans.
Prior to its parade, the city of Pueblo held a flag dedication ceremony at the new city library, named after Robert Hoag Rawlings, a Navy Veteran of World War II, to kick off the celebration.
The library had never before had a flag flown in front of it, and Rawlings knew it needed to be changed.
Rawlings said he felt every public building should boast an American flag.
“Every morning, I salute the flag coming to the office, and I say ‘Bob Rawlings, you’re the luckiest guy in the world. God bless you for being born in America,'” he said. “That flag is a symbol of our republic and I respect it deeply,” he said.
Joe Angel, a Navy Veteran of Vietnam, and a resident of Pueblo, attended the dedication and parade and said he was proud to be a part of the festivities.
“This parade makes me feel very honored,” he said. “We never had a welcome when we came home from Vietnam and this surely has made my day.”