City Veterans Parade Cancelled
Portsmouth Veterans Council officials say there were not enough participants to march this year.
Several Portsmouth area veterans were disappointed that there was no Veterans Parade to accompany Sunday morning's ceremony in Goodwin Park after parade organizers said there were not enough participants willing to march.
"We had so few people in it we decided not to do it," said Richard Brooks, Adjutant for American Legion Post 6. He added this year marked the first time in recent memory where the city has not had a Veterans Day parade.
The Veterans Day parade was scheduled to march from the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post on Deer Street down Islington Street to Goodwin Park beginning at 10:45 a.m. According to some Portsmouth area veterans, there were about 10 people who wanted to march in the parade, including the American Legion Post 6 Detachment, the Nam Knights Motorcycle Club and various VFW and American Legion Post members.
The Portsmouth Police were also standing by to escort the parade through the city as they do every year. Brooks said the veterans council may end up having a Veterans Day parade on Nov. 11, 2013 to rededicate the new Memorial Bridge, which is scheduled to be completed on July 6, 2013.
Josh Denton of Portsmouth, an Iraq War veteran who helped organize this summer's Iraq War Veterans Parade, said he was willing to march in Sunday's Veterans Day Parade. He was disappointed about the decision not to hold it.
"What was so disappointing was not having the parade at all," he said.
Denton said that even if there were only a handful of people willing to march in the parade, the city should have had it anyway out of respect for veterans and their families.
Kathy Anania of Portsmouth, whose father Jim Colbert is a retired Air Force veteran, said she was also disappointed there was no parade. "We love it when they come up with the color guard and the drums," she said.
Colbert was worried there were be some disappointed city residents lined up along Islington Street who expected to see a Veterans Day parade.
Anania said regardless, "parade or no parade, we're still here for the veterans."
The Goodwin Park ceremony went on as scheduled at 11 a.m.