Large crowd turns out for Cape Veterans Day parade
By MEGHAN McCOY
The annual Veterans Day parade in downtown Cape Coral attracted all generations of people Thursday afternoon filling both sides of Southeast 47th Terrace from Southeast 9th Place to Southeast 15th Avenue.
This year marked the 9th year for the parade and celebration. The grand marshall was Pete Nicholsen, who served in the United States Marine Corps from 1966-1970 in aviation operations. He served in Vietnam from September 1967 to November 1968 with the First Marine Air Wing.
Cape Coral resident Carol Centanne, who moved to the area in 1970, said she hasn’t missed a parade yet. She said she thought the parade went really well, but she wished there were more marching bands involved.
She said she believes a Veterans Day parade should be held because it is important to show every veteran respect for what they did or do. Centanne said there are at least six of her immediate family members who are in the military right now, so the parade holds a special meaning for her.
She explained that this was the first parade her children and grandchildren were not a part of, but she still brought them along to watch and enjoy.
Bob Brennan who became friends with Centanne during the parade said he loved it.
“I didn’t want to miss it,” he said.
The parade also included JROTC members from various schools, who chanted while they marched up the street.
Cape Coral High School 9th grade student and JROTC member Jessica Manocchi said the parade was fun because “we get to walk around honoring the ones who fought for us,” along with getting involved in “all the chants we have to do.”
The Araba Shriners also had their trademark cars and floats in the parade.
Dick Nelson, fleet captain for the Araba Shrine Mariners, said there was a great turnout for the parade and there were a lot of people wearing their uniforms standing along the street. He explained that in the three years that he has been a part of the parade, the number of people that surrounded the streets “was as good as the best” that he has seen.
“There were a lot of folks in the street tonight,” he said. “We like that.”
Nelson said the Veterans Day parade is important because “most of us are veterans” and “we don’t thank them enough” for what they do.
Past Commodore of Araba Shrine Mariners Gabe Sedloff said the parade is a “tearful experience” because “we see so many people who shower us with thanks” and so many people in the crowd do so much for the community as well.