Veterans parade across downtown Ellensburg


Beau Sansom

The crowd watches as military vehicles pass.

Beau Sansom, Staff Reporter

Soldiers could breathe a sigh of relief on Nov. 11, 1918 at 11 a.m. when the Great War came to a close. The fighting was done and the soldiers overseas could finally return home. 104 days later on that same day and same time, the community around Ellensburg gathered downtown to celebrate the Veterans Day parade.

This year’s Veterans Day parade kicked off in a big way as hundreds arrived to show their support for those who have sacrificed so much for them. 

They did not have long to wait, as the parade arrived with the CWU ROTC Combined Color Guard leading the parade from the front. 

Veterans from every branch of the military participated in the march and consisted of participants in wars dating from the Korean war (1950 – 1953) to Afghanistan (2001 – 2021)

Kittitas County Veterans Association President and CWU alumni Ed Barry was in charge of organizing the parade. He has been involved in the planning of every parade over the last 10 years and worked extensively within the community around Ellensburg, even sitting on the advisory board for the construction management program at CWU. Barry served in the Navy during the Vietnam War, spending 25 months overseas in Vietnam.

Ellensburg High School band playing in the parade. (Beau Sansom)

“It’s important to turn a page in history,” Barry said. “We want to help people understand who and what was achieved by being in the military … It’s something to be proud of.”

Veterans Day is a day to remember those who have made sacrifices to preserve the freedom and ways of life found in the United States. 

In honor of that memory, third year CWU history major Josh Brewer attended the parade. As someone whose brother served in the military, Brewer said he believes it is important to show respect and honor to those who have given their time and lives in the service.

“There is definitely a lot of sacrifice that goes into serving in the military,” Brewer said. “I can’t imagine that’s an easy thing to go through, there’s a lot that can happen to you when you’re out in the field and I think the unfortunate lot that go through that definitely deserve respect.”

Veterans from several different organizations came together to both support and participate in the parade, including American Legion Vice Commander Robert Granger. 

Granger has worked with local veterans from various walks of life, ranging from those fresh out of the service to some in their 90s. Granger spoke of the Legion’s community outreach and expressed his thoughts on the significance of this year’s parade.

Veterans march while carrying flags. (Beau Sansom)

“The parade reminds the community that they live every day with people who’ve sacrificed for the country,” Granger said. “They can reach out to us anytime they’re in need of help.”