Thousands Line Veterans Day Parade Routes Across Nevada

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Thousands of people of all ages, many waving American flags, turned out for Veterans Day parades on Sunday across Nevada.

Parades in Reno, Las Vegas and Virginia City included marching bands, military vehicles, veterans and Reserve Officer Training Corps teams.

Connie Lindsey, a 59-year-old homemaker, was among hundreds of
people who lined the parade route in downtown Las Vegas.

Lindsey said she brings her father, a World War II veteran, to the parade every year. She said the parade was important "especially these days" with conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"I believe it shows respect and that we realize the privilege of being in the United States," Lindsey said.

Marine veteran Marvin Jenkins, 70, watched the Las Vegas parade
from a wheelchair. He's missing both legs from the knee down, but
did not want to talk about his injuries. He said the parade was
"very important."

"It shows the appreciation that the American people give us, because sometimes you wonder," Jenkins said.

"People say, `Thank you, thank you.' I ain't no hero. The heroes don't come home," he added.

Mary Walker, 84, of Reno, was among more than 4,000 people who
showed up for the parade in downtown Reno. She was accompanied by her 88-year-old husband, Myneer, a World War II veteran.

She said five grandchildren have marched in the parade with ROTC
teams over the years, including one on Sunday. She said she's proud
of veterans, but wishes U.S. troops could be withdrawn from Iraq.

"It makes me sad" to see ROTC teams march in the parade, Mary Walker said. "I hope the young men and women don't have to go to

Air Force veteran Ervin Strand, 71, of Reno, also expressed reservations over the war in Iraq. But he said it was important for
Americans to put aside differences and to recognize veterans.

"Sometimes veterans are forgotten and stuck in hospitals," Strand said. "This is their day to shine."

Spectators held placards that read: "Land of the Free Because of the Brave" and "Thank You Vets for Keeping the Freedom."

Some people turned out on behalf of candidates vying in the state's Jan. 19 presidential caucus. While some held signs for their choice, a stilt-walking man dressed up as Uncle Sam in Reno wore a button for Democrat Joseph Biden.

About 2,000 people watched the parade in historic Virginia City. Its grand marshal was Glenn Tierney, a veteran of World War II, and the Korean and Vietnam wars.

In southern Nevada, Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., on Sunday honored World War II veteran Samuel Sokoloff, 84, for his service as a member of the Army's 7th armored division in the Battle of the Bulge.

She also attended a dedication of a new memorial at the veterans
cemetery in Boulder City to honor military members who have died since the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks.

Veterans also were recognized elsewhere across the state over the weekend, including in Henderson, Elko and Dayton.
Associated Press writer Ryan Nakashima in Las Vegas contributed
to this report.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)