Rapid City welcomes back Veterans Day Parade, honoring veterans in the community

 

RAPID CITY, S.D. — In 2019, Rapid City residents came out even in the snow for the city’s Veterans Day parade. Then came the parade’s cancellation in 2020 from the pandemic.

Rapid City Veterans Day Parade American FlagsThis year, the parade was back in full swing, with the exception of floats due to recent high wind warnings.

However, the wind didn’t stop people in attendance as they lined up along the parade route cheering and applauding the veteran community.

“I saw on the news this morning that only six percent of the country is veterans. And I’m always pleased to see veterans honored,” U.S Navy Veteran Charles Nustad said. “I’m honored every time there’s Veterans Day. I only served four years, but I’ve been honored all my life because of it. That’s pretty nice.”

From the VFW building, participants cruised down Main to 7th Street, turning on St. Joseph, then wrapping up at 2nd Street.

Grand Marshal and World War II veteran Captain Richard Parham led the parade, waving to the crowd from a Humvee.

A patriotic reverie filled the air, with high school marching bands playing patriotic tunes and fire engines turning on their sirens.

“The community is very supportive and it really doesn’t seem to matter where people are politically,” retired Army Sergeant Bonnie Silver said. “They seem to support the veterans here. So, it’s quite welcoming.”

Many veterans were also among the families and citizens at the parade, both lining the downtown streets and participating in the parade.

Part of an exclusive group of Americans that goes beyond just a title.

“I heard somebody say it’s like, ‘when you raise your right hand, you automatically become part of a new family.’ And you come down on Veterans Day and support that new family.” U.S. Navy Veteran John Vidas explained. “The people that were with you throughout the good and the bad. And we’re all there to support the country.”

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