DALLAS - Each year, North Texans put on the biggest Veterans Day parades in Texas. Despite the falling temperatures and gusty wind, this year was no different.
The Greater Dallas Veterans Day Parade through Downtown Dallas was a heartfelt salute to all of those who’ve worn the uniform of the United States. It’s also one of the largest in the nation.
It featured 124 entities – veterans’ groups, military equipment, 11 bands, floats and more. The theme commemorates the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion, which happened in 1944.
The parade chairman reflected on the troops who stormed the beaches along the coast of France.
“The miles of blood these men fought through for our freedom and to release or conquer evil in Europe was our main objective. And it’s amazing the sacrifice they went through for the love of our country and to make us free as we are today,” said Chairman Pat Teipel, a Vietnam era veteran.
Each year, an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 people are expected to line the route from Union Station to Dallas City Hall. A morning ceremony at city hall also included a flyover by military jets in the missing man formation and a display of military vehicles.
The Tarrant County Veterans Parade was no different. Parade-goers paid tribute to veterans and paid attention to the changing weather.
Some California visitors, like Chris Raulino, were caught off guard.
“We thought it was coming tomorrow! I thought today was still supposed to be pretty good,” Raulino said. “Saturday and Sunday was beautiful, though."
Fort Worth high school marching bands, celebrants on horseback and some other four-legged friends braved the cold and were bundled up like their owners.
Veteran and dad, JR Velasquez, brought his young daughters.
“It’s cool to see the people and the veterans, and my dad's in the military,” his daughter said.
An Air Force fire truck from NASJRB came through loud and proud. Veterans Day supporters explain how they're doing their best in the conditions.
“I was like, ‘Okay, let’s do it, but I'm low key freezing,” Megan Gonzalez said.