Veterans of past foreign conflicts, dating back to the Second World War, were honored during the Cruizin E Street parade held on E Street (just north of Baseline Avenue) in San Bernardino on Nov. 7. Hundreds of people from across the Inland region huddled around the Original McDonald’s Site and Museum to honor the heroes.
The parade garnered participation from Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) students from Arroyo Valley and San Bernardino High Schools, appearances by city and state dignitaries, military vehicles, classic cars, a color guard and band from San Bernardino High School, and featured Grand Marshal First Sgt. Raymond Rincon, a Vietnam veteran with numerous awards including a Purple Heart and Bronze Star.
Assemblywoman Cheryl Brown (D-San Bernardino), who serves on the veterans committee in Sacramento, extended her gratitude to those who have “worn and currently wear the uniform.”
“Each year on the eleventh day, eleventh hour, of the eleventh month, we pause to honor those who have served our nation,” she said. “Mr. Rincon: the nation owes you so much. I appreciate you. Your commitment will never be forgotten.”
Brown also spoke about the importance of commemorating the sacrifices of Vietnam War veterans who often suffered from verbal and physical abuse due to the war’s controversial essence at the time.
“You were not treated fairly when you came home from fighting the war,” Brown said. “I want to say thank you to each of you.”
Vietnam war veteran Tommy Arredondo, who served as a communications expert for the U.S. Army, said he enjoyed the parade because he was able to interact with fellow veterans and share wartime stories.
“We can’t forget the men who died,” he said. “I still think about my experiences all the time.”