Parade pays homage to vets

Staff photo: Kevin Wilson Veterans Day Parade Marshal Robert L. Sparks of Roswell waves as he trails the Cannon Air Force Base honor guard to open Saturday’s parade on Main Street.

Staff photo: Kevin Wilson
Veterans Day Parade Marshal Robert L. Sparks of Roswell waves as he trails the Cannon Air Force Base honor guard to open Saturday’s parade on Main Street.

By Douglas Clark
Staff Writer
dclark@cnjonline.com

An attitude of gratitude prevailed during Saturday’s Veterans Day, as hundreds lined Main St. in Clovis to pay homage to those who served and sacrificed for America.

Leading the parade processional was Grand Marshal Robert L. Sparks, who retired from the U.S. Army with the rank of Chief Warrant Officer W2. Sparks was joined by an array of parade participants that included, among others, VFW Post 3280, AMVETS Post 14, the Clovis High School Air Force JROTC, U.S. Marine veterans, Boy Scouts of America Pack 411, American Legion Post 117, Girl Scouts of New Mexico Service Unit 52, the Civil Air Patrol, Lowe’s Home Improvement and the Clovis Police and Fire Department.

“I truly believe at times we take for granted the freedoms we have in this country and when we do that, we’re also taking for granted the dedication of the men and women who have given of themselves in our armed services,” said Mike Bradley, as he watched the parade with several family members. “I’m thankful for their willingness to put that uniform on every day and carry out their tasks, because if they didn’t, we wouldn’t be able to make the choices that are at our disposal daily. Our veterans should be saluted everyday, not just when the calendar calls for it.”

Norma Sanchez echoed Bradley’s sentiments.

“For the last year and a half or so our country has been drawn along political lines,” she said. “But I think one thing we can all agree on is our veterans have earned and deserve our support. I’m happy to be out here cheering, waving and thanking them as they walk, march and ride by. They’re all giving and no taking. It takes a special person to have that mentality and I commend them for it.”

Parade organizer John Montano said extended kudos to all for their due diligence.

“We had a great day and a lot of people had a great time,” he said. “It takes a lot of people to pull this event together and I want to tip my hat to everybody for making this possible. We were blessed with another beautiful day to come out in support of our men and women who are a source of great pride.”

After the parade lunch was provided at VFW Post 3280 and trophies were presented to the top three places in five parade judging categories:

Veterans Organizations (Floats)
• First Place: AMVETS
• Second Place: VFW Post 3280
• Third Place: American Legion Post 117

Veterans Organizations (Marching Units)
• First Place: Cannon Air Force Base Honor Guard
• Second Place: VFW Post 3280 Riders
• Third Place: U.S. Marine Corps

Business Organizations
• First Place: Bill’s Auto Service
• Second Place: Knights of Columbus
• Third Place: Lowe’s Home Improvement

Youth Organizations
• First Place: Air Force JR ROTC
• Second Place: Clovis Junior High School Bands
• Third Place: Girls Scouts of New Mexico Trails

Community Parade Participants
• First Place: William Guile 1966 Dodge Coronet
• Second Place: American flag painted Volkswagen
• Third Place: High Plains Horseman’s Club