Thousands lined the streets of Downtown Bakersfield Monday to honor our nation’s veterans. Bakersfield’s 99th annual Veterans Day included children, active-service military members, students from local high schools, and community leaders.
17’s Jim Scott served as master of ceremonies and KGET’s Chief Meteorologist Alissa Carlson was on hand in her role as Mrs. California. 17’s Tabatha Mills also participated in the parade, walking alongside local veterans.
“Every day is veteran’s day,” said parade honorary Grand Marshall Marc Sandall. ” We need to thank them and support them in every way we can,” he added.
Former Veterans Services Department Director Dick Taylor served as the parade’s grand marshal, parade grand marshal.
Vietnam War Veteran Ulysses Washington was among the thousands who lined the streets.
“I served the entire year of 1968 in South Vietnam. The worst year of the war,” Washington recalled. “It’s an honor to serve my country. “
Attendees said they felt a similar gratitude for those who have served.
“To have these people come out and to realize what it meant for these people to give up what they’ve given up, its great,” one attendee said.
“They sacrificed a part of their life to go out for their freedoms,” another noted.
Sandall shared a similar sentiment.
“If someone served, thank them because you have freedoms that, without them you wouldn’t have,” he said.
Parade organizers say Veterans Day 2019 will mark the parade’s centennial anniversary.
On behalf of everyone at 17 News, we offer our thanks to all veterans for their service to our country.