The grand marshal for the 14th Annual Long Beach Veterans Day Parade is World War II veteran Clarence Bramley, a North Long Beach native who served in the Air Force during his military service. While fighting with the Army in the Philippines, he was taken as a prisoner of war for four years and was part of the infamous Bataan Death March. Bramley is also a retired Los Angeles firefighter. Honorary grand marshals will be Jeremy Boshnack and Nick Kalt.
The parade will take place Saturday, Nov. 6, beginning at 10am, when it steps off at the corner of Atlantic Avenue and Harding Street. The line of march will head south on Atlantic to 56th Street, turn, then proceed back to Houghton Park.
“Rosie the Riveter” will also be honored in this year’s parade. “’Rosie’ was the nickname used to describe the thousands of women who worked in the factories to produce the many products that made it possible for the United States to win World War II,” said Martha Thuente, coordinator of the parade. Twenty women who served as Rosies during the war will participate in this year’s parade.
Again this year, the public is invited to participate in the Freedom Walk, an opportunity to join in and follow the parade down the route in honor of the men and women who are serving in the military. The Freedom Walk group is the last unit in the parade. Those interested may sign up in advance or on the day of the parade at Houghton Park, at Atlantic and Harding.
Post-parade activities at Houghton Park will include a brief ceremony honoring veterans, followed by musical entertainment. A free play area for young children will offer arts and crafts and face painting as well as other activities. This year’s vendors fair will feature goods of all kinds for sale. Food offered will include Texas-style barbecue, Mexican food and Korean barbecue.
The Long Beach Junior Concert Band will play a salute to the Armed Forces, and a choir, consisting of veterans who are participating in a program that provides therapy through the use of music, will sing rock songs. The Jazz Angels, a group of youth 12 to 17 years old enrolled in a program to learn instrumental music, will also perform. The group includes professional musicians who perform with the youth to boost their confidence and help them to further their musical education.
The Aquarium of the Pacific’s “Aquarium on Wheels” will also be on display from 11am to 1pm. Booths with information about various city services and programs will also be available.