Connie Sykora-Gerlich was there to bear in mind her father.
Standing close to the nook of Dallas and Bagby Street, moments earlier than the Veterans Day parade started Sunday afternoon in downtown Houston, she makes use of the day to honor him and his service as a firefighter in the Army throughout World War II.
“They served for us,” mentioned Sykora-Gerlich. “They gave for us to be free. It is essential. Each and each one in every of them have a narrative behind all of this.”
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Wearing a camouflage jacket and a shirt that learn, “My Daddy, My Hero” Sykora-Gerlich was simply one in every of many who gathered downtown to pay homage to veterans.
The parade was a part of a Sunday celebration for the greater than reportedly 200,000 veterans and their households who dwell in Houston and for the various others scattered throughout the nation. A hearty crowd of children and adults was not deterred by the chilly and drizzly climate.
Before the parade, the morning kicked off with a well being truthful throughout from City Hall, after which a a second of silence to pay respects to the 100th anniversary of the signing of the World War I armistice, which ended combating in what was referred to as “the struggle to finish all wars.” The morning ceremony additionally celebrated the centennial anniversary of girls having the ability to serve in the marines.
As the downtown Houston parade started, trumpets blared whereas members of Jack Yates High School’s band and dancers sashayed down the road. Their pink and gold outfits sparkled in opposition to the grey sky.
Raquel Edwards was there to see her personal college students from The Rhodes School, who have been a part of one other drum line that made its manner by means of downtown streets.
The 29-year-old fourth grade instructor felt it was vital to help her college students and expose her three-year-old son to the observance.
“Quite a lot of occasions we train this stuff in faculty however we’re not in a position to present them how vital it’s,” mentioned Edwards. “When they see the neighborhood and everyone coming collectively, they’ll see and notice that that is one thing that is essential.”
As the parade stretched towards City Hall, U.S. Army vans drove down Dallas Street. Participants handed out American flags and sweet to these gathered on the sidewalks as “Proud to Be An American” blasted.
Mayor Sylvester Turner and Congressman Al Green, who wore a jacket with an American Flag design, waved from their shimmering pink, white and blue float.
Golfcrest Elementary college students cheered, “Veterans we love you!” as they bounced their pom poms. Others crowded on the sidewalks waved to veterans who have been sitting atop a caravan of convertibles.
Sykora-Gerlich, who’s in her 60s, mentioned that is an emotional day for her. Her father died when she was 23 and she or he misses tales about his time in the military. She additionally got here to honor her niece who’s presently serving in Afghanistan.
“Quite a lot of them acquired wounded,” mentioned the Houston girl. “Quite a lot of them don’t get acknowledged.”
As the parade continued, some drizzle started however a lot of the gang stayed. Chants of “USA!” might be heard because the parade wound down in entrance of City Hall.
“I simply thank God for them,” mentioned Edwards. “Without them, we wouldn’t be the place we’re at the moment.”