WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Although Veterans Day is on November 11, Luzerne County honored those who served our country early with the largest Veterans Day parade in the area.
Although it was a little windy and cold, the streets were lined with hundreds of people from Kingston to Wilkes-Barre for the Wyoming Valley Veterans Day Parade Sunday afternoon.
Veterans and active military members by the score crossed the Market Street Bridge into Wilkes-Barre on Sunday for the largest Veterans Day Parade in northeastern Pennsylvania.
“As I’m walking from Kingston over to here, I saw all of the military personnel and they were just heartwarming, you know? You just wanted to salute all of them and thank them so much,” said Plains Township resident Anne Thomas.
The sidewalks were filled for the Wyoming Valley Veterans Day Parade as people lined up to honor our country’s veterans.
28/22 News Anchor Tom Williams emceed the event, introducing those who made the march, including this year’s 2023 outstanding veteran, Willis Ide.
Veterans like George Vitanovec come every year to support and honor those who served beside him.
“My friends served, my brother-in-law, we served together. We both were lucky enough to get the quilt of honor a couple of months ago. We grew up together and we went to the army together,” said Vitanovec.
The Vietnam vet says the annual parade reminds him of how differently our nation’s heroes are treated from when he served.
“I think it’s great that they’re honoring their veterans, you know, all veterans should be honored and respected. Back in the Vietnam era, you weren’t welcomed home and you weren’t welcomed anywhere really,” Vitanovec explained.
Something Sally Kinney of Wilkes-Barre believes is important for younger generations to understand, bringing her grandson to show him why his great-grandfather, a Korean War veteran, is a hero to our country.
“It’s important for me to be here because he’s my father and Jackson like, what do you like? The tanks? Yes,” said Kinney.
She was not the only one to bring her family, as all ages filled the square and waved their flags as a way to say ‘thank you.’
Although Veterans Day is Saturday, Sunday was a great reminder of how we should honor our veterans every day.