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Veteran’s Day Parade reminds us of the sacrifice of all who serve

Veteran's day parade here to stay in Pocatello
KIFI/Braydon Wilson
Veteran's day parade here to stay in Pocatello

POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI)-After an 80-year hiatus the Bannock County Veteran's Day parade returned for its second consecutive year.

The parade reminded everyone, that not all heroes wear capes. More often than not, they are wearing camouflage.

A Navy vet who served for more than 35 years Terence "Terry" Thonssen, shared his story of getting into the Navy.

"I joined right out of high school, tested it in the nuclear-powered program, and served on submarines," said Thonssen.

Thonssen shared how he feels in the days since the return of our Vietnam Veterans the importance of remembering those who served has improved.

"I think that generation of folks, you know, had a tough time coming back. And still, people in the military have a hard time coming back from deployment, whether they're in combat or not, just assimilating. So seeing support from the community that it's there, knowing that they're valued. It's it's I can't tell you how important it is," Thonssen.

Melissa Hartman had the chance to emcee the parade. Her husband served in the Army and the Marine Corps. She shared how her narrating the parade was a big honor, as she also interacted with many of the people who had floats in the parade as part of her job.

"I get to hear about history from the men and women who made it every day at my job. So to get to see them honored and people to get excited and really cheer on the true heroes in the United States, that's the best thing ever," Hartman said.

She added that having the parade the week before the parade is extremely helpful in keeping the importance of Veteran's Day in mind.

"What happens traditionally and in our area is that we do a bunch of Veterans Day ceremonies or at least one traditional ceremony, right, on Veteran's Day. And then a lot of stores and businesses want to offer discounts or free meals. And so if we do a parade on that day, it kind of adds to that. And veterans don't get to spend time with their families. But by doing it the weekend before then, what that does is it enables our community to honor our veterans and really kick that off and give them just the extra special need that they have, of just saying thank you," said Harman.

Brian Davis took his family to the parade to try and help his kids understand the value of military service.

"I come from a family full of veterans and, yeah, just wanting to come out here, support our veterans and, you know, teach our kids the importance of what they do and why we have our freedoms,"

They all shared how important it is to express gratitude to those who served.

"We need to just honor all of our veterans, our Korean veterans. We're losing them, so fast. It used to be that we were losing our World War two veterans, and they're very few of those left. Now we're losing our Korean veterans. And so it's just important for us to honor that historical piece that we don't have. And pretty soon it's going to be our Vietnam veterans. It's just going to carry on. So it is important for us to honor history and the living history, not just our past history," said Hartman.

"It's very important. We need that support and makes us feel our veterans feel appreciated. Some people think it's kind of toxic to have patriotism, but it's the opposite, having that patriotism. Again, it helps us and helps our veterans and gives them the moral support that they need because they already know why they're fighting and the causes that they have. But when they have the citizens behind them, because, you know, the veterans are protecting us," Davis said.

"It means a lot to the veterans that are around. I know it means a lot to the families of veterans because, you know, obviously my family is a family of veterans. So and we have I have the military going back on my side and my wife's side. So it's really great to see this little community come together for something like this," Thonssen said.

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Braydon Wilson


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