Parade-goers certainly had their expectations met at the 17th Annual Long Beach Veterans Parade. Taking place last Saturday morning, the parade featured more than 100 participants including representatives from various veterans’ organizations, local politicians and dignitaries, marching bands and equestrian groups.
The ongoing theme for the parade, “A Salute To Those Who Served,” was duly illustrated with the participation of Grand Marshal Rear Admiral Mark D. Guadagnini and Honorary Grand Marshal Keith McCart. Guadagnini, one of Long Beach’s own, graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in 1975. He has over 4,700 hours of flight time in 52 different aircraft. His awards include two Battle “Es,” and he has flown 95 combat missions. McCart, who received an honorary discharge from the Army National Guard in 2005, is a member of the Long Beach Police Department and currently serves with the Robot Technician Detail and the Honor Guard Detail.
The parade program commemorative booklet, created by the Signal Tribune, was distributed to participants and parade onlookers. Featured in the booklet is information regarding the grand marshals, the history of every branch of the military, details about the parade and a full-color spread on the Long Beach Veterans Mural located at the corner of Atlantic Avenue and Harding Street. Those wishing to have a booklet may pick up a free copy at the Historical Society of Long Beach (HSLB), 4260 Atlantic Ave., while supplies last. Business hours for the HSLB are Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays 1pm to 5pm; Thursdays 1pm to 7pm; and Saturdays 11am to 5pm.