Roanoke celebrates nation’s heroes through Veterans’ Day Parade

Published: Nov. 11, 2023 at 9:48 PM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Thousands of people flooded the sidewalks of Downtown Roanoke Saturday for the annual Veterans’ Day parade.

As a part of Veterans’ Day, people filled the streets of Downtown Roanoke, cheering on our nation’s heroes.

“It is a beautiful moment where they can come together as a family and remember those, because we have Memorial Day for those who have fallen in the past. This is for the ones that are living,” said the President of the Roanoke Valley Veterans’ Council. Perry ‘Ace’ Taylor.

He said this was his fourth year in the Veterans’ Day parade.

“I was on a float for different organizations with vets and the Disabled American Veterans. In this time I rode with the 29th Division,” boasted Taylor.

Taylor served in the U.S. Army about 8 years. He said it was nice to see the community thank our veterans.

“I saw a lot of young cadets from VMI. And so that’s the future. And you have all the families there. You have World War II, Korea, Vietnam, there’s Storm, Desert Shield, Panama, Afghanistan, Iraq, it’s just recognized and all of them,” explained Taylor.

Daniel Wickham is also a veteran and President of the Roanoke Valley Veterans Council Inc. He says he is grateful to see the youth connect with vets.

“I think what’s so important about celebrating veterans is the fact that they have sacrificed so much, they have given up their freedoms, so we can keep ours and, you know, so this is just an extremely small way that we can express our gratitude for everything they’ve done for us,” said Wickham.

Taylor explained the celebration and gratitude the community has is the symbolism of freedom.

‘’We are a family,” stated Taylor.

“We’re all in one boat going in the same direction, hopefully. So we need to remember that little tidbit, you have a right to your opinion. You have a right to feel and do what you want. You’re free. That’s what free is,” Taylor added.