The San Diego Veterans Day Parade, in keeping with tradition, followed the same route as prior years – down the Pacific Coast Highway between Cedar Street and West Harbor Drive. One slight change, however, is that the San Diego Veterans Day Parade Committee partnered with The Band of Tribute.
This partnership saw the participation of two California high school marching bands, the El Rancho High School Marching Dons and the Mariposa County High School Grizzly Band. Not only did California marching bands participate in the parade, but a band from Kingwood, Texas – the Kingwood High School Band.
The Band of Tribute has been participating in the New York City Veterans Day Parade since 2008, operating as the parade’s Official Marching Band and Youth Sponsor. Debuting in 2009, in Times Square, The Band of Tribute has been providing moving performances to honor veterans across nationwide.
A well attended parade, the support of these American heroes was palpable. Parents were encouraging their children and loved ones to clap and stand up in salute to these men and women who played such an integral part in our country’s history.
Following a motorcade of vintage convertibles and muscle cars in which the veterans were chauffeured down the Pacific Coast Highway, were San Diego County Veterans of the Year, Ron Stark and Tony Stewart.
The “Veteran of the Year” program was established in 1989 to recognize the contributions of Veterans to the San Diego community. This honor has been a community outreach effort on behalf of the Veterans Museum and Memorial Center, who initially recommends the San Diego County Veteran of the Year.
As of 2001, the Veterans Museum and Memorial centers has encouraged civic leaders, as well as local organization to better select the Veteran of the Year. Typically only one vet is selected to this title, but the 2012 San Diego Veterans Day parade saw an exception.