It’s not everyday that Bay Isles Road is lined with American flags.
But, for the past four years, Veterans Day has been one of those occasions.
The Rotary Club of Longboat Key hosted its fourth annual Veterans Day Parade and Honor Program on Nov. 11.
A record-breaking 135 veterans attended the parade supported by family members, friends and community members who clapped for them along the quarter-mile parade route.
Following the parade, an honor program was held at Temple Beth Israel where ABC 7 anchors Ray Collins and Jacqueline Matter moderated a conversation between grand marshal Aaron Cushman, who served in the Army Air Corps during World War II and the Korean War, and retired U.S. Air Force Col. Christopher Valle, who served in the Cold War, Gulf War and later years.
Rotary Club President Jay Sparr greeted attendees before the honor program began. He explained that Rotary International’s creed is service above self and noted that he couldn’t think of a group of people who personify that more than veterans.
“This event is not to glorify,” he said. “This event is to recognize the people who were called upon to serve our country and who rose to the challenge.”
And that recognition is what stuck out to Cushman, who said he was flattered to serve as grand marshal.
“I think it’s just the recognition factor, the fact that people still remember the contribution we made, and more importantly the contribution that people made who aren’t here,” he said.