|(Nov. 12, 2017, 4:10 p.m.) -- Long Beach residents thanked America's veterans on Saturday Nov. 11 with the 21st annual Long Beach Veterans Day Parade, followed by a street festival and a veteran-themed events at Houghton Park. This year's event fell on the 11th day of the 11th month when 99 years ago guns fell silent in the "war to end all wars" (WWI) (in which U.S. involvement began 100 years ago.)
LBREPORT.com provides extended VIDEO coverage below (as we have in previous years) from our prime camera location right next to the grandstand.
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This year's parade was (as in previous years) organized by the Long Beach Veterans Day Parade Committee, a non-profit volutneer group, but this year bore the fingerprints of 9th district Councilman/Vice Mayor Rex Richardson, who srepped forward after talk surfaced of possibly moving the parade from NLB's 9th district into the 8th district's Bixby Knolls area. Richardson quickly snagged the Veterans Day parade permit for Nov. 11, made the parade part of a crowd-building daylong street festival with Houghton Park veteran-themed events...and reconfigured the parade route to head east on South St. and then north on Atlantic Ave. to Houghton Park.
Current and retired military personnel marched; older veterans rode (with some at or beyond the century mark.) A number of local schools sent marching bands, drill teams and ROTC units. Civic and service groups marched. Other participants ranged from classic car clubs to corporate sponsors.
This year's parade also brought out the a number of LB elected officials, including Mayor Robert Garcia, Vice Mayor Rex Richardson and Councilmembers Al Austin, Lena Gonzalez, Jeannine Pearce and Suzie Price. Councilwoman Stacy Mungo entered a unit in the parade displaying her name but wasn't visible at our camera location, or to Dan Pressburg (who didn't see her when he approached with a wireless mike so she could offer brief remarks.) Councilmembers Supernaw, Andrews and Uranga also weren't present this year.
Among other electeds taking part in the parade: City Prosecutor Doug Haubert, City Auditor Laura Doud; LB School Board member Megan Kerr and LBCC Trustee Doug Otto. Also present were Congressman Alan Lowenthal (D, LB-west OC); Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D, NLB-Lakewood-Paramount), Assemblyman Patrick O'Donnell (D, LB-San Pedro) and Assemblyman Mike Gipson (D, Carson). LB Harbor Commissioner (and former Assemblymember/Vice Mayor/Councilmeber) Bonnie Lowenthal rode aboard the Port's entry with former 1st dist. Councilman Evan Braude. Among city staff: City Manager Pat West, LBPD Chief Robert Luna and LBFD Chief Mike DuRee.
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