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Veterans Parade, 11/3

Air Force veteran Jack Edson of Lincoln salutes the flag during the city's first Veterans Parade in front of the state Capitol on Saturday.

About 200 people braced themselves against the cool weather Saturday morning to honor military service members with Lincoln's first Veterans Parade.

Groups from across the state, including the Nebraska National Guard and several American Legion posts, marched and drove down K Street, ending at the state Capitol.

"This is a day about honoring veterans, put on by veterans," said City Councilman Roy Christensen, an Army veteran who proposed the parade. 

"Thank you, veterans, thank you for all those who have served," he said. "Thank you for those who support us now, then and in the future."

Parade entries included the Lincoln High School marching band, Rough Riders motorcycle group and local Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts troops.

The parade began with a speech by Antonio Marino, chairperson of Marine Corps League, Cornhusker Detachment No. 370, which sponsored the parade.

He said the parade was important not only to celebrate veterans but to honor the 100-year anniversary of several events, including Armistice Day and women being allowed in the Marine Corps.

Mayor Chris Beutler, an Army veteran, said being stationed in Thailand was an "enormously valuable experience." He said this year has been a great one for veterans, noting a federal coalition's recent decision to designate veteran homelessness in Lincoln as "functional zero."

"A lot of people were involved in this, and it's a beautiful thing to see it developed," Beutler said of the parade.

Other speakers included Mark Peniska, former chairman of the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska. He expressed his appreciation for those who served in World War II, including Native Americans, who did not have the right to vote at the time.

Marino, who said he had been very busy in getting the parade set up, gave thanks for the support he received from his committee, the volunteers and the crowd.

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Veterans Parade, 11/3

Clarence Osborn, a 100-year old World War II veteran, watches Lincoln's first Veterans Parade Saturday.

"It's a whole big mix of emotions: relief and gratitude and happiness and joy," he said. "It's been a very, very good day."

WWII veteran Clarence Osborn, 100, watched from his wheelchair in front of the Capitol. He was thankful for being mentioned by Christensen, who served in the same infantry regiment as he did, 40 years apart.

"The parade's real good," he said. "I wouldn't miss it."

Veteran's Day is Nov. 11.

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Reach the writer at 402-473-7241 or cspilinek@journalstar.com.

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Newsroom intern

Fall semester newsroom intern at the Journal Star.

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