CARLSBAD — Hundreds of supporters attended the Army and Navy Academy’s second annual Veterans Day Parade to honor San Diego County veterans on Nov. 11.
Army and Navy Academy, or ANA, partnered with Carlsbad’s Rotary to host the event, which included a recognition of veterans representing the various branches of the military, a full Military Review and a wreath presentation by Veterans of Foreign Wars members.
“It’s a privilege to play a small part in honoring our veterans,” USS Stockdale’s Commanding Officer Jeffrey Bennett said during his remarks. Bennett was joined by a handful of crewmembers from the USS Stockdale in saluting past and present troops.
World War II U.S. Nurse Corp veteran Isabelle Mason-Walker, who served from 1940 to 1964, was appointed Honorary Commander of Troops for the ceremony. She is 99 years old — the oldest veteran at the ceremony — and a Carlsbad resident.
Mason-Walker was joined by veterans Al Christman, U.S. Army; Frank Gift, U.S. Navy; Virginia Master-Donaldson, U.S. Marine Corps; and Don Savery of the U.S. Coast Guard, all of whom were named special guests of the Veterans Day ceremony.
ANA’s cadets conducted a full military review, which included performances by the Color Guard, the Atkinson Warrior Band and the Drill Team. During Sound Off, veterans were invited to stand when their respective military branch’s anthem was played.
The ceremony also featured an Inspection of the Corp of Cadets, Honors to the Nation and a Missing Man Formation Fly-over by the Red Stars Formation Team.
Veterans of Foreign Affairs Post 7041 members Jim Rutan, Gene Berbaum and Jerry Moore presented a wreath to Carlsbad Mayor Claude “Bud” Lewis during the ceremony. The wreath was later placed at the North County Vietnam Veterans Memorial, which is located right next to ANA’s Maffucci Field.
Many families — including those of locally based and currently deployed servicemen — attended the ceremony to pay tribute to an organization that has played such a large role in this country.
Throughout the presentation, an announcer provided historical background on the origin and purpose of each aspect of the review.
“We wanted them to understand the importance of the military and their legacy of service,” Carlsbad resident Meg Beauchamp said. She brought her daughter Ella, 4, and Lauren Lazarus, 4, to the event. “It’s really important for them to know.”
The hour-long ceremony closed with a Pass in Review by the ANA’s cadet companies, as well as cake and refreshments provided by the Carlsbad Rotary.