‘Over There — Re­mem­ber­ing World War I’

Pa­rade hon­ors Porter­ville’s vet­er­ans

Porterville Recorder - - FRONT PAGE - By ES­THER AVILA

Satur­day’s 99th an­nual Porter­ville Vet­er­ans Day Pa­rade had it all — a sunny day with blue skies, warm tem­per­a­tures, floats, bands, horses, Amer­i­can flags, vet­er­ans, and thou­sands of spec­ta­tors lin­ing Main Street.

Martin Silva, a U.S. Army vet­eran who served in Viet­nam was among the spec­ta­tors.

“I al­ways come. It’s great. I love it. There’s a lot of sup­port for the vet­er­ans — peo­ple com­ing out and cheer­ing,” Silva said.

Silva, who was born and raised in Porter­ville, wore his army uni­form to the pa­rade in honor of sol­diers who lost their lives.

“I do it for them — to rec­og­nize them,” Silva said as his voice started to break. “I don’t do it for me. I do it for those who did not re­turn. I do it to honor them.”

Also wait­ing for the pa­rade to start was Korean vet­eran Louie Bri­ones of Lind­say, with his friend Louise Cor­nell, the widow of a World War II vet­eran.

“We like to come early and park. Then we have break­fast at RJ’S and come find our seats,” Cor­nell said.

The cou­ple found a raised area where they could set their chairs in or­der to get a great view of the pa­rade.

“I love that this brings peo­ple to­gether to honor the vet­er­ans,” Bri­ones said. “We en­joy the pa­rade.”

Not far away, Viet­nam vet­eran Ron Starr also en­joyed the pa­tri­otic pa­rade.

“I never miss these,” the el­derly vet­eran said of the pa­rades. “I’ve been at­tend­ing for more than 20 years. I re­ally love it and they do a good job. They go all out. I’ve never seen so many peo­ple come to the pa­rade. I think all of Porter­ville is out here.”

The pa­rade route had sev­eral ar­eas of four-to-five peo­ple deep — many of them wear­ing shorts and T-shirts.

The Amer­i­can Le­gion, Vet­er­ans of For­eign Wars, the Cal­i­for­nia Cadets, the Lib­erty Belles Mounted color guards, and the 2017 Pa­rade Grand Mar­shal — Rick Elkins, re­tired Porter­ville Recorder ed­i­tor and pub­lisher — led the pa­tri­otic pa­rade down Main Street.

The Porter­ville Vet­er­ans Home­com­ing Queen, Bri­anna Tor­res of Porter­ville High School, who also serves as Miss Porter­ville, and her royal court — Princess Cal­ista Spohn, PHS; First At­ten­dant Jas­myn Franco, Monache High School; Sec­ond At­ten­dant Aby­gail Saieva, PHS; and Third At­ten­dant Shelby Whin­ery, PHS — were also to­ward the front of the pa­rade.

Across the street from Starr, two other vet­er­ans, a fa­ther and his son sat side by side en­joy­ing the pa­rade — United States Army vet­er­ans Ge­orge Clifton Plum­lee and Pete Plum­lee.

The elder Plum­lee served in World War II. The younger served in Viet­nam.

“I’ve been com­ing ev­ery year since I was 15 years old, be­fore I joined the ser­vice,” Ge­orge

Plum­lee said. “I re­ally like it. They re­ally honor their vet­er­ans here.”

The younger Plum­lee agreed and said he was hon­ored to en­joy the day with his fa­ther.

Vet­er­ans were not the only ones en­joy­ing the pa­rade. All along the pa­rade route, young chil­dren could be seen

march­ing along to the beat­ing of the drums, some of them twirling rib­bons on sticks in the air, and wav­ing lit­tle, Amer­i­can flags.

Among those wav­ing flags was Laryssa Lerma, an 8 year old Belle­view Ele­men­tary stu­dent.

“We’ve been com­ing

ev­ery year for as long as I can re­mem­ber,” said her mother, Irene Lerma of Porter­ville.

“It brings back a lot of mem­o­ries,” said Rose Sanchez as she watched with her fam­ily. “I played the flute for two years and the clar­inet for five years with Lind­say Jr. High and Lind­say High

School.”

The fam­ily en­joyed ice cream as they watched the pa­rade.

Adrian Cabr­era said he en­joyed all the car club ve­hi­cles, while Mar­i­ano Cabr­era and Joseph Sanchez said they liked the bands.

For Alex San­doval, it was the twirling flags,

and Jackie San­tos said she liked all the horses.

The pa­rade, themed “Over There — Re­mem­ber­ing World War 1” had more than 120 en­tries and fol­lowed a mini pa­rade, which in­cluded dozens of twirlers, dancers and ma­jorettes from three lo­cal ba­ton groups.

RECORDER PHOTO BY CHIEKO HARA

A lit­tle spec­ta­tor en­joys the pa­rade Satur­day dur­ing the 99th an­nual Vet­er­ans Day Pa­rade in down­town Porter­ville.

Mem­bers of Cub Scout Pack 3116 march down the street Satur­day dur­ing the 99th an­nual Vet­er­ans Day Pa­rade in down­town Porter­ville.

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