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Burlington hosts annual Veterans Day parade

Skagit Valley Herald - 11/13/2022

Nov. 13—BURLINGTON — The streets of downtown Burlington were full Saturday as the rumble of parade floats moved down Fairhaven Avenue for the city's 27th Skagit County Veterans Day Parade.

The day began with a pancake breakfast at the Burlington Community and Senior Center that was free for veterans. There was also a military display set up at the Burlington Visitor Center that was available for viewing throughout the day.

After everyone's stomachs were full, the parade was gearing up to start.

The parade began with a flyover of two vintage planes from the Heritage Flight Museum.

There were also two other flyovers throughout the duration of the parade including a medical helicopter from Airlift Northwest as well as a helicopter from the Life Flight Network that was flown by a veteran.

This year's parade had more than 40 entries with at least 15 having a veteran either driving or on board, Burlington Parks and Recreation Coordinator Christi Kinney said.

Bands, floats and a color guard from the state chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution made their way through downtown Burlington as community members lined the streets.

"Sometimes, they (veterans) don't feel seen and this helps them feel seen and it helps ... the community get an opportunity to come out in a big group in a very visible way to say 'thank you for your service,'" Kinney said.

Parade grand marshals included John Hendrickson, Lin Tucker, Walter Garland, Robert Toth and Bryan Harris.

Hendrickson served in the Army from 1975-1997 and joined the Skagit County Sheriff's Office in 2000.

Tucker served in the Navy from 1985-1992 and was with the Island County Sheriff's Office Reserve from 1990-1992 and the Sedro-Woolley Police Department from 1992-2022.

Garland served in the Army from 1972-1976 and was a firefighter once out of the military. He currently volunteers at Island Hospital in Anacortes and is a veterans services officer.

Toth served in the Army from 1988-1996 and became a volunteer firefighter in 2002. In 2005, Toth joined the Burlington Fire Department.

Harris served in the Air Force from 1991-2004 and later became a firefighter in Mount Vernon where he has worked for more than 25 years. He is currently the fire department's chief of operations and training.

Once the parade wrapped up, folks headed back to the Burlington Community and Senior Center for a soup and sandwich luncheon that was, again, free to veterans.

"It's just a good feeling to be able to put this parade on for the community and for the veterans, and that we all have one place that we can come to connect to say, 'thank you for your service,'" Kinney said.

— Reporter Jake Isom:, 360-416-2141, Twitter @goskagit


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