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Community members gather for the annual Mineola Veteran’s Day parade

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Updated: Nov. 14, 2020 at 7:31 PM CST
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - In Wood County, community members gathered and filled the sidewalks for the annual Veterans Day parade that traveled through the streets of downtown Mineola.

East Texas News spoke with organizers and participants who are honoring America’s heroes.

The Marine Corps League Mineola Detachment held their annual Veteran’s Day parade, but this yearly event was different from years past. Due to the pandemic, float members couldn’t hand out flags, candy, or even participate in the annual lunch. However, organizer Larry Pruitt said the show must go on.

“Veterans are important, and we felt, regardless of the COVID-19 situation, that we had a diligent duty to actually honor them and go ahead with the parade," Pruitt said. "They did allow the parade to go on.”

Spectators lined up on the sidewalks as the band, floats, and military vehicles made their way down the parade route.

“We need to recognize all veterans for the service they did perform and it’s important to honor them each year," Pruitt said.

Retired Marine Ray Dillen has been participating in this parade for over 10 years. He explained the importance of Veteran’s Day and what it means to him.

“To show our pride in America and the armed forces and the guys that have paid the ultimate price," Dillen said. "Some gave all, and all gave some. We all served. We all served under one flag, and I’m proud of that flag.”

Dillen said he was excited to participate in this annual event.

“Being together a part of this community, sharing with Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast guard, we have all branches in the VFW. I enjoy fellowshipping with them and with the people in the city," Dillen said.

The parade concluded at the Broad Street Church of Christ, just over a mile away from the starting line.

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