BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The Kern County Veterans Day Parade made a triumphant return to the streets of Bakersfield for the first time since 2019. Thousands of Kern residents flocked to downtown Bakersfield to celebrate the brave men and women who dedicated themselves to defending our nation. The American Legion organized the march, after spending a year sidelined by the pandemic.
Local leaders like State Senator Shannon Grove, Mayor Karen Goh, and Congressman Kevin McCarthy cheered on the crowd … while our Jim Scott MC’d. At 101 years old, World War II veteran and Pearl Harbor survivor Bob Berman served as the Grand Marshall of the parade.
“This is a real honor,” said Berman. “At 100 and something years, this is the best experience I’ve had.”
Local experts say more than 45,000 veterans live in Kern. But they weren’t the only ones hitting the streets this morning to support our armed forces.
“Everything I’m doing, I’m doing for my family,” said Angelina Valdivia, a local Air Force JROTC cadet.
Local veterans say today’s celebration is more than a dazzling display. This parade symbolized the tight bond our service members share.
“Even though I got out in ’95, I know a lot of guys I was in the military with, we still meet up every yea,” said Keith Nunez, a local Army veteran. “I know, if I went homeless today, they would have my back. I’m blessed that my kid, my son is thinking about going into the military.”
“I served six years, two months in the United States Air Force,” said Matthew Scholefield, a local Air Force veteran. “The friends you make in the military will be there for you for life. Anyone who’s willing to serve in the military, thank you.”
Watch the full parade here: