Salute: Bend stages annual Veterans Day Parade

Honors disabled vets; event in memory of Mike Ward

POSTED: 8:39 PM PST November 11, 2012 
BEND, Ore. -

Central Oregonians celebrated Veterans Day all across the High Desert on Sunday, with parades and other gatherings saluting those who have served our country.

The Bend Veterans Day Parade kicked off at 11 a.m.

The parade is considered to be the second-largest in the state, next to the one in Albany. This year, there were 112 entries.

The grand marshal of this year's parade was a large group: disabled American veterans.

The parade was dedicated in memory of Mike Ward, a member of the Air Force and a well-known Central Oregon veteran.

"A lot of people know him in town," said Rabbine Harpell, the parade organizer. "He was the past state commander of the Oregon Disabled American Veterans. Everyone knows Mike Ward. He's helped veterans, he's helped charities, he's a Bendite and he passed away this year.

"We really miss him. He was co-director of the parade for 13 years, so it's in his honor that we march today."

It was quite the scene this year,  as troops from the Boy and Girl Scouts, Humvees and old restored military vehicles made their way through downtown Bend.

And of course, veterans from all branches of the military marched as well.

Elsewhere, Redmond held its annual parade, followed by a chili feed for veterans and their families at the VFW. Prineville staged its parade, while it was a special day in Madras, which held its first Veterans Day parade in about 30 years.

Feel free to share a few photos from Sunday's events with us by e-mail at stories@ktvz.com or using the My Report feature of our smartphone apps.