Hundreds honor veterans in downtown parade

PHOTO BY CHRISTOPHER TOMLINSON—Thousands pack Main Street in downtown Grand Junction for the Veterans parade.This is the Color Guard from Central High School.For more photos from the parade check out the slide show at as VETERANS PARADE 11-7.

Harrison Seconine dusted off his dress blues and headed downtown Saturday.

The 81-year-old Grand Junction resident and U.S. Coast Guard veteran found himself, because of a family illness, on the sidelines of a parade that he usually is a part of.

Seconine served from 1947 to 1967.

“It’s especially important right now, with Fort Hood and all,” said Seconine, one of several veterans on Saturday who noted Thursday’s massacre in Texas, which left 13 people dead and wounded 29.

“GIs don’t forget stuff like that,” he said. “There’s a sadness today.”

The tragedy at the Army base in Texas nonetheless did not dampen celebration downtown along Main Street as several hundred people turned out for the annual Veterans Day parade.

Greg Merschel, an event organizer, said this year’s parade had 42 floats had roughly 100 vehicles and marching units.

Steve Austin, 55, a Navy veteran, celebrated his birthday on the sidewalk watching “simple fun, which is the best fun.”

“It’s important to be here,” Austin said. “I didn’t fight in any wars, but I know people who did, and so many of us take this for granted.”

Al Bailey, 81, proudly displayed his Korea War service, in dress and headwear.

“It matters because our country is going to hell,” Bailey said. “There’s about a thousand reasons why.”


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