While it didn’t draw the crowds of a holiday parade, Charleston’s Veterans Day parade brought out hundreds of people grateful for the sacrifices paid by the men and women of the armed forces.
Those lining the parade route from East Bay to Broad Streets cheered and waved U.S. flags at veterans and veterans-to-be passing by. A few even got so overwhelmed to shed a tear.
Among them was downtown Charleston resident Krista Whitney, whose eyes welled as she applauded men who have seen combat in wars over the past 70 or so years, including a float carrying men awarded the Purple Heart.
“I’m an American,” said Whitney, when asked about her tears. “If it weren’t for these people, we wouldn’t be here. So I’m here for them today.”
After getting off one of the last Veterans of Foreign Wars floats in the parade, Vietnam War veteran Norris Stevens of Goose Creek says he is particularly appreciative of people coming out to honor veterans.
“Considering the homecoming we got after coming home from Vietnam, it’s nice to know that the American public appreciates what veterans have had to go through,” said Stevens.
Stevens sat next to Korean War veteran Eugene Jenkins of Johns Island and Vietnam veteran John Brooks of Summerville. All three men have noticed that the public generally has grown more supportive of veterans in recent years and that the sentiment is welcome.
The parade was among an array of Veterans Day events in the Charleston area over the long weekend, including the Carrier Classic and Run for the Yorktown at Patriots Point.
Chief Master Sgt. Al Hannon gives U.S. flags to people lining East Bay Street near the start of Saturday’s Veterans Day Parade.×
Krista Whitney’s eyes teared up as she applauded veterans for their sacrifices at Charleston’s Veterans Day Parade on Saturday. “I’m American,” said the downtown resident. “If it weren’t for these people, we wouldn’t be here.”×