By Maddie Johnson
Tempe shines its spotlight on local veterans and offers a chance for the community to say “thank you” at two upcoming events: The 11th annual Tempe High Veterans Appreciation Breakfast and a Veterans Day parade.
Tempe High School will be hosting the breakfast to honor veterans at 7 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 9 in the school cafeteria. Its purpose: to honor and celebrate those from the community who risked their lives for service to the country.
All veterans attending have a chance to introduce their rank and receive a show of appreciation by way of a complimentary breakfast. Organizers say families of veterans are encouraged to attend alongside their loved ones for a price of $5 and with an RSVP. “This is important to remind the community of the sacrifice veterans have made though wars and conflicts over the years, and the overall war on terror that is going on all the time,” said Cliff Jones, one of the breakfast organizers. Capt. Philip Roos will be guest speaker at the event, accentuating the importance of the dedication and sacrifice that veterans have made through their service. Roos is currently commander of the Navy and Marine ROTCU at Arizona State University, the largest group of its kind in the nation.
The Veterans Day observance picks up again one day later, with the oldest continuous veterans parade in the Valley. This year’s event kicks off its 70th year at 9 a.m. Friday, Nov. 10, at ASU Gammage to give the entire community a chance to show support for area veterans. Maneuvering down Mill Avenue, the parade expects to see 3,000 along the route and will have appearances from area political and social luminaries, including Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, various
military units, seven bands and more than 1,000 Boy and Girl Scouts. Producer of the parade for its 38th year James
Grone will walk the route to Tempe Beach Park where he and members of the Tempe American Legion, who together raised funds for to provide hot dogs and other refreshments, will welcome attendees. A special veterans program begins at 11 a.m. Parade organizers encourage all groups and individuals to join the celebration of service running
through the heart of Tempe and to show support for the entire veteran community.“The parade is to honor not the average citizen—it’s the people in the military that are in harm’s way and are doing the work of the country in terms
of (ensuring) freedom and keeping us safe,” Jones said.