Moment of silence held during National Roll Call Ceremony on Parade Ground

The Opening Ceremony was held in Madison Square Park at 10 a.m. and ended with a wreath laying at the Eternal Monument at 11 a.m.

After the ceremony, the students were able to eat lunch at the American Legion Post #340 alongside veterans. One Mesa teacher, Jessica Miller, said the parade is an important part of their school's Veterans Day program.

The Rev. Tyler Bayless, pastor of the Toronto First Presbyterian Church, led the invocation.

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"It's like a big family", says Josie Dehoyos, the wife of a Vietnam veteran.

Goldie Litva, ladies auxiliary chaplain, recited the Legion Prayer before the Pledge of Allegiance led by Boy Scout Troops 47 and 41.

People waved small American flags as music from high school bands blared down Fourth Street.

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Legion officers then took turns explaining the Legion's objective. "They, too, are veterans", Hughes said.

11, Americans will pause to honor the 23.4 million men and women (1.4 million of them on active duty) who have served in the military in times of war and peace.

"The benefits are here; you get in with the community and some good people who can help you along the way", he said. "So, it means a lot", Veteran Edmund Skura said.

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He said the country is beginning to understand this, adding that is why President Barack Obama signed a proclamation for the Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War. Civilians showed their gratitude and service members showed their pride. He remembered Japanese suicide attacks against his ship and what he and his fellow veterans endured.


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