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Cape Coral parade gives veterans their due

By Staff | Nov 12, 2011

People of all ages lined the streets of south Cape Coral Friday morning as the parade marched by them, participants throwing candy, waving and honoring veterans by showing their patriotism.

The parade route was held on Southeast 47th Terrace from 9th Place marching east to Southeast 15th Avenue.

More than 50 units participated in the parade, which featured JROTC units, various veterans groups, marching bands, city council members, along with various organizations.

Nancy Wood found a bench near 10th Place a little before 11 a.m., so she could get a good seat to watch the parade for the first time.

“This is my first time here,” she said. “I decided to come out to the parade today.”

Wood said she promised two young people who are apart of the Lee County Junior Drill Team that she would watch them march by.

“I think this is going to be fun,” Wood said. “There is a lot of community spirit.”

Grady Robertson also attended the parade for the first time to watch his daughter Cassie march with the drill team of Island Coast High School. The family moved to Cape Coral from New Jersey four months ago.

Although he attended Veterans Day parades in New Jersey with his family, it did not feature JROTC students because the program was not offered to the students.

Robertson said he was mostly excited to see his daughter march in the parade. He also wanted to show support for his community.

The parade also held a very special meaning for two veterans who stood along the street to watch it unfold Friday morning.

Jack Handwork, who has lived in Cape Coral for the past nine years, said he never misses the parade because of the patriotism that the community shows.

This year, the parade held a special meaning for the United States Army veteran who served in Germany.

“I lost a son in the service, so it has an extra meaning to me today,” he said about the Veterans Day Parade.

Jim Michalski, a Vietnam veteran, joined his neighbor to watch the parade for the first time.

“I thought it was great,” he said, adding that the crowd’s participation showed a lot of patriotism. “It has a very special meaning to me.”

The JROTC units also stuck out the most to Michalski during the parade because they did not have JROTC students back home in New York.