BRANSON, Mo. – Families braved the cold Friday for the Annual Branson Veterans Day Parade.
The parade wrapped up a week’s worth of events. There’s been reunions and ceremonies to honor all who have served.
“We did all the film festival, and then we’ve taken in a few extra shows and got to go to Showboat tonight,” Marines Veteran Lewis Johnson said. Johnson traveled from Michigan to enjoy the festivities. “The documentaries, they’ve been awesome. I mean, to see what some of the people really had to go through. I mean, you hear about it, but you can’t really put it together until you can see it. You got to say God bless them because for what they went through, because it was something that was really terrible.”
Johnson said he was blown away by all of the events and support from families this week.
“We live in California,” Parade Goer Carol Navarro said. “We came all the way [because] we love Branson. We love the atmosphere, and we just respect our veterans so much. They’ve done so much for our country. I had a brother who was in Vietnam, and I just can’t say enough to apologize for how they were treated when they came back from Vietnam. These are all heroes. We need to roll out the red carpet for them every day.”
Some families didn’t have too far to travel.
“I decided this year to come and see what it’s all about one more time,” Navy Veteran Bill Martin said. He traveled from Kansas City. “It’s great how the country supports our veterans. And then we have an activity like this and come out support the activity. So it’s just a really good feeling.”
Although the cold kept the crowd a little smaller than usual, the enthusiasm was still just as big.
“If it wasn’t for the veterans, we wouldn’t have all this liberty freedom and makes our country so great,” Willis Navarro said.
“You didn’t really realize how much it really means to people,” Johnson said. “It’s really been wonderful and eye opening. To see how the veterans are are treated here. I’m glad to be an American and to serve my country and to live in America where we are blessed country, no matter what’s going on. God’s in control. All we got to do is follow his directions.”