Hundreds of spectators celebrated and remembered the sacrifices of military veterans, past and present, Saturday at the 16th annual Long Beach Veterans Parade.
"The 9th District is proud to host this wonderful opportunity for folks to honor our veterans who make sure we enjoy the freedoms that we have," said 9th District Councilman Steven Neal. "It's a pleasure that North Long Beach has the privilege to host the Vets Fest for those who serve this country."
Chief Warrant Officer IV Thomas M. Murphy was the parade grand marshal.
"It's actually quite a honor to be the grand marshal," Murphy said. "I suppose it's for my many years of service, but it's not just for me but for everyone in uniform. I'm just one guy up there. Maybe when they see me in uniform they remember an uncle or the guy down the street who served."
Murphy was born in San Bernardino, and moved to Long Beach with his family in 1962. He graduated from Lakewood High School in 1967.
Also honored were the Montford Point Marines, a thriving part of the Marine Corps Family.
In 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Congress established a presidential directive giving African-Americans an opportunity to be recruited into the U.S. Marine Corps. These Marines were not sent to white training bases. Instead, the approximately 20,000 black Marines trained at Montford Point, N.C., between 1942 and 1949.
Honorary grand marshals were:
William "Jack" McDowell, who served in the Marines during World War II.
Robert Stanley Hammond, who served as a U.S. Navy Corpsman First Class during World War II.
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