Veterans Day events instill love of country, respect for military

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From special dinners and music performances to parades and school assemblies, during the past week many local residents either participated in or watched an event meant to honor our nation’s military as part of Veterans Day.

Each year, the Fort Vancouver Veterans Parade in particular has special significance in the greater Vancouver communities. Participants include veterans, school and Scout groups from around the area, including Camas and Washougal. All converge at the Barracks for one purpose — to show honor and respect for the men and women who have given so much in the name of freedom, not only for American citizens, but citizens of other countries as well. It’s an incredible sacrifice many of these soldiers have made and are currently making.

Among the spectators at the parade were hundreds of children who unflinchingly suffered through the rain and the cold with their families. As they waved their United States flags enthusiastically, many of the youngest may have had little idea of the true meaning behind why the men and women in uniform were marching in the parade. But what is certainly instilled is a respect for the flag and for our country. And someday, that understanding will grow to include the importance of honoring our veterans who walk among us today, as well as those who made the ultimate sacrifice and never made it back to their families and friends.