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A day to say ‘thank you’

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The Roswell Veterans Day Parade made a nod to the holidays ahead as a veteran in his Santa garb waves to bystanders while his group travels north on Main Street Saturday morning.

This group representing the U.S. Navy joined a parade that included Blue Knights motorcyclists, cadets from the New Mexico Youth ChalleNGe Academy, women veterans, senior community veterans, Home for Heroes volunteers, young beauty pageant winners, members of the Girl Scouts, veterans driving vintage tractors, as well as featured speaker New Mexico Rep. Bob Wooley (R-Roswell), a Vietnam War-era vet.

“Veterans Day is the day for Americans to stand as one body to say thank you,” Wooley said. “To those who never returned from the battlefields, we remember them here.” Chaves County has about 4,523 veterans, according to a 2015 U.S. Census Bureau report, while New Mexico has 172,717.

The third annual Roswell parade was organized by a volunteer group and coordinated by the New Mexico Military Institute Military Science Department in cooperation with the city and other local groups. A BRAVE 5K run and walk preceded the parade and raised funds for Homes for Heroes. That event had garnered $1,600 in cash donations at the Saturday run alone.

Two Roswell firefighters work atop their ladder to unfurl the Stars and Stripes at North Main and Sixth streets prior to the start of the Veterans Day parade. The firefighters below hold the flag so that it does not touch the street prior to the ladder being fully elevated. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

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