On this gorgeous sunny autumn day the city of Hammond hosted their 2nd annual Veterans Appreciation Day Parade. This is the only parade of its kind in Lake County.
Hammond plans on hosting this parade every year. Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr., who spoke at the ceremony following the parade, enthused, ”We want this to be the new big parade in the region. We had a really great crowd and really great participation. We are really proud to host this parade!”
The parade started at Olcott and 173rd, then headed east towards the Hessville Veterans Memorial. The participants and parade goers all had deep respect for the Veterans.
“Thank you for your service!” was heard over and over again as the men and women who served our country walked by. Lots of flags and candy were passed out along the parade route that featured Girl Scouts to tanks and everything in between.
Following the parade was a Veteran Appreciation Day Ceremony. Mayor Thomas McDermott was the Master of Ceremonies. The ceremony started off with Towle Theater’s All American Sweethearts singing.
David Hinshaw COL, USA (retired) , a Purple Heart recipient was one of the speakers. He was representing the Purple Heart Chapter 721 of Hammond.
“The goal today was to express appreciation to other veterans and Hammond,” Hinshaw said.
Mark DelValle attended the parade because he, too, was a vet. He showed his respect by carrying a large American flag.
“I really think it’s wonderful the veterans are recognized,” stated Mark, who comes from a family of veterans including his grandfather and uncle.
Ending the ceremony was The Region Police Pipes and Drums, a three-member group of men.
Andrew Laurinec a member of the Region Police Pipes and Drum said “They perform for any kind of law enforcement line of duty death, active or retired military line of duty death or any ceremony we are requested to play at. “
“It’s a small opportunity for us to give a little something back to the veterans and law enforcement officers who have performed a service to us all.”
This Parade would not have been possible without it’s many sponsors: American Fabricators Inc., Anchor Inn Bar and Grill, Arrow Uniform, Bellsom Electric, Calumet Breweries, Cargill, Central Rent a Crane, Centrifuge Chicago Corp, Councilman Bill Emerson, City Clerk Robert J. Golec, Hammond City Council, Hammond Mohawks, JJS Recycling Factory Inc., LaHayne Funeral Home. NIPSCO, N. Township Trustee Frank J Mrvan, People’s Bank, Planet Fitness Hammond, State Senator Lonnie Randolph, Teamster Local 142, Towle Theater, VanTil’s, VFW Post 802, and Wal-Mart.
Thank you sponsors for helping to give us an opportunity to thank our veterans.