An Honorable Parade for Petaluma’s Veterans


Photo by Owen Davis

The people of Petaluma and its surrounding communities woke up nice and early on Friday morning. Sure, many could have afforded to sleep in with the day off, but viewing spots along the parade route were up for grabs. Lawn chairs decorated the sidewalks as people continued to claim their territory along the streets of Petaluma. Parents sipped their coffee in an attempt to fight the brisk weather, while excited kids anxiously ran around in anticipation for the parade.

By noon, veterans littered the streets, waiting for the parade to begin and have their much deserved moment of praise. At exactly 1 p.m, the excitement commenced. Antique cars and trucks slowly strolled through downtown Petaluma as veterans, all from a variety of ages and backgrounds, waved proudly to the parade spectators. While the veterans were the stars of the parade, car junkies admired the parade display. From modern race cars, to vintage automobiles, the parade showcased every type of car imaginable.

Of course, it would not be a parade without the marching bands. Local high schools blared their brass and banged their drums in appreciation of the local veterans. Every veteran in the parade was showered with praise, but one veteran received a special reaction from the crowd. Paul Lewis, an 89 year-old Petaluma native who fought in the Korean War, strolled along the parade route and was rewarded with the most enthusiastic cheers of the day. There was a general roar of excitement in the crowd!

After all the lights and glamor of the parade and the surrounding festivities, many gathered at Walnut Park for a quiet moment of recognition to all the veterans. Prayers were offered, and many mourned the loss of past veterans while also honoring the veterans in attendance. In honor of the annual tradition, the city of Petaluma came together to pay their respects to those who have served our country.