A celebration for veterans returned this year in Cape Coral after a year of cancellation due to the pandemic.
Thousands of people attended the Veterans Day Parade on Thursday to honor the nation’s servicemembers.
People lined the street to honor those in uniform.
It’s a far different scene from when Steve Hatfield got home from Vietnam.
“We didn’t get any kind of welcome home or anything like that so it kind of touches my heart to see all these people come out to honor veterans,” Hatfield said.
Alysa Weresing said she looks forward to the parade every year.
“They always give flags out usually multiple flags and usually every group gives like candy,” Weresing said.
But more importantly, Weresing said, she attends “to support our veterans.”
After 27 years in the Marines, Tom Verros said he is still humbled that he got to serve.
“No greatest honor to serve your country and to remain free,” Verros said. “No matter all the other stuff that’s going on.”
The parade’s Grand Marshal was 93-year-old Fame Academia, who now lives in Cape Coral.
A native of the Philippines, Academia was 14 years old when World War II started.
He fought the Japanese, first as a guerilla, on his native island, then as a member of the U.S. Merchant Marines.