WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – It’s Veterans Day, a time for us to pay our respects to those who have served in the military. In West Springfield, the town hosted it’s annual Veterans Day Parade.

“We get to put our veterans out at the parade and have the community applaud them, cheer for them, and support them,” expressed West Springfield Director of Veteran Services, Jorge Santiago.

Veterans Day pays tribute to all American veterans, those living, and those no longer here with us.

Hundreds of people flocked to West Springfield for the Veterans Parade on Saturday, where they honored and remembered our country’s fallen heroes. With the bravery and the sacrifices of these veterans, the community says it is important to show appreciation for those who fought for freedom.

Attendee Ken Lamontagne of the Corvette Club of Western Massachusetts told 22News, “I mean, let’s face it, we wouldn’t have the freedoms we have if it weren’t for the veterans. In so many countless ways they have contributed to the quality of life in this country and our future, and our potential. So its nice to give them some recognition and feed back.”

Veterans Day occurs every year on November 11th in honor of the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” in 1918, signaling the end of all wars. Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance, and November 11th became a national holiday in 1938. This holiday used to be called Armistice Day.

So on Saturday, people across America will celebrate and honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love for the country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice.

There are Veterans Day celebrations happening all over, in West Springfield, Chicopee, Holyoke, Agawam, Greenfield, Westfield, and South Hadley.

Brian Miller with the Massachusetts Chapter of Honor and Remember says he came to the parade to honor all veterans, “We are just out here joining the march, the parade to honor those veterans that can not actually be there today, and make sure we remember those veterans also. And not just the veterans here to participate in the parade.”

Around 6:45 a.m., 22News was at Vietnam Veterans Bridge in West Springfield for a ceremony. After that the veterans parade started at 10 a.m. at St. Thomas School.

The celebrations were taken to West Springfield Town Hall after the parade, where the town unveiled two parking spots that are designated for veterans.

Local News

Kiara Smith is a reporter who has been a part of the 22News team since March 2023. Follow Kiara on X @KiaraBSmith1 and view her bio to see more of her work.