On Nov. 11, people gathered downtown for a parade to celebrate the veterans who have risked their lives for American freedom.
The sound of music, horns and cheers filled the air as veterans marched down the streets, waving to the crowds of family, friends and supporters.
One spectator, Suzanne Krut, spoke to the importance of making a veteran feel appreciated. As one of the many ways Krut tries to say thank you, she has dedicated her career as a comedian performing for veterans.
“They come up to me afterwards and hug me and they literally cry because I hug them,” Krut said. “They are just so wanting, a lot of them. Look what they do, how many people want to run into gunfire just for people who don’t really half-appreciate them sometimes?”
The parade was designed to show the different conflicts that have occurred in American military history, covering everything from the Civil War to World War II. To enhance the experience, almost everyone from the parade was dressed up in war memorabilia from each era.
Seeing the representations for each era caused several spectators to choke up as the parade flowed past them.
“It’s just a really good thing to do,” said Kim Eos, a spectator. “My dad is dead and he was in World War II, my brother was in the Vietnam War so it’s kind of really important to join in and celebrate because it’s hard.”
When the parade was over, everyone was invited to meet in Civic Center Park where they were greeted with music, food and booth.
Among the booths were charities and resources for veterans and their families, including MSU Denver Veteran and Military Student Services. The group works to help student veterans with everything from their education to finding a support group for those who may not have anyone they can talk to.
The booth provided pamphlets on how to sign up for different types of insurance, and resources for coping with the trauma caused while serving, from sexual assault to other mental health issues.
“We provide a place for veterans to come and hang out and do their homework and eat lunch,” said Chris Thibodeau, a member of MSU Denver Veteran and Military Student Services. “We also provide a place for the veterans to just come in and share war stories and support each other. We have a host of resources that we can refer veterans to if they need them, resources like dental care and stuff like that.”
According to Thibodeau, there is a misconception that because a person is a veteran, they have the support that they need. That is why Krut and others feel like showing support is the most important thing to do for those who have served.
“We take so much for granted. We run around with our $500,000 telephones thinking we’ve got problems. We don’t have any and it’s because of them that we don’t have any,” Krut said.
“Write a letter. Just take five minutes and say hi and thank you. Everyone you see with a veterans hat on wants you to tell them thank you. They wouldn’t be wearing that hat if they didn’t want recognition for the things they’ve been through.”