Rapid City is ready to celebrate Veterans Day

RAPID CITY, S.D. — The last Veterans Day Parade was in 2019. Not even snow could stop crowds from coming out and celebrating the veteran community in Rapid City.

Robbinsdale Elementary Students Cheering For Veterans Cruising ByIn 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic reduced it to a small ceremony which included a 21-gun salute and mayoral proclamation.

For 2021, the parade is back and in full swing.

On the official holiday, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1273 will celebrate with the return of their parade. Despite a potential for inclement weather, parade officials are ready for a large turnout.

“We will have a police escort, bands, Boy Scouts, Shriners, motorcycle clubs, a lot of the community pitching in. It’s for the veterans,” VFW 1273 Post Commander Ralph Treece said. “And we’re going to have a meal afterwards.”

Students at Robbinsdale Elementary, however, got an early jump on the celebrations.

On November 10, Children and staff spent part of their morning waving signs and thanking veterans with shouts of gratitude.

They even passed out hot coffee and donuts to veterans cruising by in their drive-thru parade.

“We were so excited to host our first annual parade today for Robbinsdale Elementary. We’re honored to be part of the military community with Ellsworth right next to us,” Special Education teacher Stephanie Hunter stated. “We couldn’t think of a better way to spend our morning than to honor those that gave so much for us.”

Of course, even with the Robbinsdale’s celebration, the VFW parade, and the many other events around the area, many still struggled with the past year.

2020 was hard on veterans, with many of them unable to connect with their peers due to the pandemic.

The VFW, however, hopes that this parade draws them back out and let’s them know that they are honored.

Veterans Day commemorations also continue on Sunday, with the Boots on the Ground program.

“Boots on the Ground was started to clothe homeless vets, especially in the winter months; that’s why we do it in November. To get them jackets, boots, clothing, thermals, to keep them warm throughout the winter months,” Treece explained. “We provide a meal and we offer them access to any of the veterans outreach services.”

The parade is scheduled to start at 11:11 am on November 11, the same time and day as when the Armistice to end World War One was signed.

Categories: Local News