Toledo Officer Sam Patrick was proud to lead the 2014 Lewis County Veterans Day Parade on his department's new patrol motorcycle Saturday. The motorcycle, a Honda, replaces the department's older Harley Davidson and boasts higher fuel efficiency and a much quieter engine.
The Washington chapter of the Patriot Guard Riders were part of the many veteran support groups during the parade, and they also remained afterward to help officiate a ceremony at the Veterans Wall of Honor in Kemp Olson Memorial Park. As an organization he riders help escort the remains of fallen soldiers as well as block protesters during funerals and memorial services.
Scouts from local troops helped recognize the contributions of veterans, many of whom began in such organizations and have returned to help lead younger generations of scouts.
This float from the Toledo Senior Center was a big hit during the parade, featuring a waving group of senior center supports playing patriotic music as they went along.
Participants in Toledo Elementary School's Youth Cheerleading program were able to ride on the Cheese Days float while throwing treats to and greeting parade-goers.
Many military vehicles, such as this old jeep, were part of the parade and had been contributed by local collectors and historical organizations.
A float from the Cowlitz Indian Tribe included riders in the tribe's ceremonial canoe. The tribe has been an outspoken support of veterans both native and non-native, and have regularly reserved time during their annual Pow Wow to honor their contributions.
American Legion Post 101 Commander Wendy Carolan speaks during a special service after the parade at the Veterans Wall of Honor, a memorial in Kemp Olson Memorial Park constructed in 2012 by the Toledo Lions Club. Carolan took time to point out those who have served, as well as their families, and acknowledged those among out service members who never returned home.
Ethel resident Jordan Groth (center) receives a certificate from Ride Captain Dan Halverson (right) and Southwest Washington District Captain Lynn Vaughn (left) on behalf of the Patriot Guard Riders recognizing the contributions of her late husband, PFC James Groth, who was killed in a training accident in February. His remains had been escorted by the riders to a memorial service at Toledo High School, and Groth and her family were since honored by the riders as Gold Star Family Members.
Locals and guests view bricks at the Veterans Wall of Honor, which contains the names and service information of hundreds of veterans both past and present. Organizers have emphasized the wall serves to recognize all members of the military and not specifically those from the local area. Bricks continue to be added as orders are received, and those seeking more information can contact Bob Schmid at email@example.com or (360) 864-8335.