Veterans Day parade shines through rain and cold

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Steady rain and cold temperatures didn't stop Memphians from showing their support for veterans Monday during the annual Veterans Day parade.

November 11th marked the 100th anniversary of Veterans Day, originally called "Armistice Day." ROTC cadets came to attention, veterans reunited and patriotism was the order of the day.

"It's very important that we salute our veterans. Because if it were not for veterans, as we always say, the benefits we are entitled to, we would not have them," said Vietnam veteran and Shelby County Veterans Service Officer Joseph Kyles.

"It's always cool to come and be a part of it and see them come down the street," said Erica Ewing. Ewing works downtown and never misses a chance to watch the Veterans Day parade.

"A lot of our veterans are battling health care and homelessness. So I think just paying homage to them and showing them we are still rooting for them and we still care about them is very important for them to know," she said.

While the inclement weather kept some veterans from marching, staffers from the VA Hospital in Memphis showed up in force.

"Our staff is marching in the parade to show their support for veterans and to show we're on the veterans' team, and that we will be here for the veterans," said  David Dunning, director of the VA Medical Center Memphis.

ROTC cadet Gabrielle Cassius ignored the rain as she marched with other White Station High School ROTC cadets. Her mother, who watched from the sidewalk, is proud of her daughter's strong feeling of connection for the military and her country.

"And respect for all the men and women that spend their lives protecting us and the freedoms we have in this country," said Simona Cassius.