Hot chocolate was a frequent sight Friday on Main Avenue as community members gathered in sunny but chilly weather to support veterans at the annual Veterans Day Parade.
The parade began at 11 a.m. at College Drive and Main Avenue and extended to Main and 12th Street. Veterans Day evolved from Armistice Day, which marked the signing of the agreement at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918 that ended World War I.
Watching the parade from the front seat of his granddaughters car, World War II veteran Marion A. Schane, 92, wouldnt miss it despite his difficulty walking.
During his 30 months of service overseas, Schane was a platoon sergeant stationed at the U.S. Air Force base in the Philippines, where he and his men were called the island hoppers.
Throughout his family tree, there is a long history of service, including a son who lost his life during the Vietnam War.
We are out here to support the memory of our son and the service from all veterans. Life would not be the same in this country if it werent for them, Schane added.
Support for the veterans was shared among community members of all ages.
Lloyd Miller, a current serviceman stationed in Albuquerque, watched with his family and fellow supporters.
Im honored to stand alongside veterans and servicemen on this special day, Miller said.
Also with him were Millers wife, Cori, and their two little girls.
Were down here to support our dad, said Megan and Madison, Millers daughters.
J.T. Coyne, a veteran of combat service starting with Vietnam and extending through the Gulf War, has a son stationed in Colorado Springs as a first lieutenant in the Army and appreciates the support from veterans and community members.
Its a great time to see a lot of old friends and share support, Coyne said.
Jerry Timmann, a Vietnam War veteran, arrived at Main Avenue early in order to get a good view.
I wouldnt miss it for the world. Im here to show my support and to see what goes on, Timmann said.
Dawn, Timmanns wife, added, The veterans hold a big place in our heart.
Those working the parade didnt mind the chilly weather.
This is an enjoyable event to work, said Steve Barkley, city code-enforcement officer.
Jen McHorse, wearing red, white and blue, attended the parade to support a friend who just re-enlisted.
We should honor our veterans because we live in this great country, and were free because people are willing to sacrifice their lives, and I feel like we need to be thankful and acknowledge that, McHorse said.
The Devitree family came to Main bundled up to show respect for the troops and a cousin stationed in Iraq.
Were here to support them and acknowledge our heroes, Dave Devitree said.
I think its important for our kids to know what this day means, Devitrees wife, Katie, added.
After the parade, the local Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion posts held an open house where family, friends and community members could spend time together.
The marching bands played their last tune as the parade finished at 12:30 p.m. at 12th Street and Main Avenue.
This is what freedom is all about, Schane said while saluting an American flag.