Annual Parade Pays Tribute to Veterans

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Veteran Robin Silva was one of many pleased to see the huge turnout for Sunday's Bryan Rotary Club Veterans Day Parade.

"This country was formed by the military stepping forward," Silva said. "And we followed our flag all the way through from the Revolutionary War to the operation in Iraq."

For that reason organizers say 2,000 parade goers lined the streets of Downtown Bryan to show their appreciation to countless men and women, all veterans who served.

The parade committee's chair Mike Southerland says veterans deserve recognition for their service and sacrifice that formed our country.

"The people that serve make a tremendous sacrifice," Southerland said. "You can't repay them in any kind monetary way or any kind of gift. The only thing you can say that's worthy of their service is thank you and remember what they did for us."

Southerland, a Vietnam Veteran, says that is the purpose of Veterans Day: to remember those who helped make America what it is now, what it took, and what it is taking.

It is a lesson Southerland says he saw parents trying to get across to their kids.

"Children can't relate really to a speech but they can relate to things going down the street, bands playing and people marching and that kind of thing," Southerland said. "It gives them the spirit of service."

Silva says it is up to the entire community not to let those growing up forget our country's history.

As part of this year's celebration residents could learn more about the U.S.'s military past at a Veterans Museum that was set up at the Cotton Exchange and at a USO memorabilia exhibit on display at Downtown 202.

"I saw a lot of kids up in the museum and their parents where pointing out things and their grandparents were pointing out things and that's what it's about," Silva said.

Silva says families participation in Veterans Day events ensures our veterans' sacrifices were not in vain.

"It's about passing the knowledge on from one generation to another," Silva said.