Show of respect: Parade in Edinburg among many local Veterans Day observances
EDINBURG — Splashes of red, white and blue were on full display along Closner Boulevard as the community showed its pride waving U.S. flags for the annual Veterans Day parade.
Despite a light drizzle, the community still was out in force Saturday morning, some seated in lawn chairs while others stood during the one-mile parade route from the Hidalgo County Courthouse south to its finish outside Richard R. Flores Stadium. Organizers said the parade was to show appreciation to those who have served in the armed forces and to give thanks to them for fighting for our freedom.
The parade was dedicated to all veterans’, but not all were on floats or walking. Some vets were lined up with the crowd, saluting those who passed by. They stood out, though, dressed in their respective military uniforms.
Army Sgt. Louis Pieper was one of those individuals proudly standing tall at the corner of Closner Boulevard and Palm Drive, dressed in his Army uniform waving and saluting to those on the route.
“I enjoy it. It makes you feel good,” Pieper said after the local community thanked him for his service. “I’ve been out for 55 years.”
The Colorado native has been coming to the Rio Grande Valley during the winter months for about 15 years now said he was grateful to those came up to him to express their appreciation, no matter their age.
Pieper served from 1959 to 1962 as an Army combat engineer.
“I was stationed over in Germany, more than two and a half years,” he said. “I was there during the Berlin Crisis.”
“One thing we had to do was bridge building – wherever we had to, every major river in West Germany — we put a bridge across,” he said.
He added that during his service he trained using atomic demolition charges. Pieper said that he had seven children; five of whom went into the Navy.
A number of local school participated in the parade, cheering and carrying banners such as one that read “Land of the free because of the brave.” The city’s high school bands came together as one to play patriotic tunes as the parade moved through town.
The parade in Edinburg was just one of the many area celebrations for Veterans Day. In Pharr, a parade was scheduled for late afternoon, and in McAllen, the observances included a ceremony at the Veteran’s War Memorial of Texas.