Photos by Ty O’Neil
“Support the warrior, not the war.” That was the message displayed on a poster that conveyed the message of this year’s Veterans Day parade – paying tribute to the soldiers and their sacrifices without celebrating any war they were a part of.
Friday, November 11th marked the 21st Veterans Day parade hosted in Reno along Virginia Street and was visited by thousands of cheering albeit cold supporters. The atmosphere was jovial as the celebration started at 11:11 am, the time at which is associated with and commemorates the end of World War 1.
To begin the festivities, Chris Payne was hosting the event and welcomed Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve to the stage. After words from two different military leaders, who asked that you thank all veterans for their service, there was a reading of the Veterans Day proclamation and a prayer for the day’s festivities and the community’s veterans.
Before the parade began to flow down Virginia Street, the national anthem was sung and greeted with applause as well as a flyover to mark the beginning of the parade. The parade itself was led by none other than the City of Reno Honor Guard.
At the beginning of the column was the Reno Fire Department with working fire “apparatuses,” traditional fire trucks and equipment, as well as the Reno Police Department with a vintage Reno Police “Cherry Topper” and their mounted division.
The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office, which showed up with their patrol division and SWAT units, were letting people know that they are actively recruiting deputies.
Continuing in the line up, there were 11 high schools who were represented by their JROTC groups, which added up to 1,745 cadets.
The Nevada National Guard, where some of the cadets might serve, followed them as a force that both has sent soldiers abroad and helped Nevada deal with many domestic issues such as wildfires and most recently, the COVID-19 pandemic.
Focusing on local issues and safety, the Downtown Reno Ambassadors, who were founded in 2018 and help people in the downtown area in regards to safety, walked before the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony, which has over 1,100 members in Northern Nevada. Native Americans rank the highest number of any ethnicity that have served in the military.
Many veteran groups participated this year such as the Reno Vietnam Veterans Chapter 989, the Marine Corps League Battleborn Attachment 672 and the Veterans of Foreign Wars District 3.
Also in the parade were the American Legion Post 30, the U.S. Submarine Veterans and the UNR Veterans Alumni Chapter. Each of the groups focus on helping those who have served and making sure veterans adjust back into civilian life.