And, finally, this represents our firemen in America. The heros in New York after 9-11. ALL fire trucks all over the country are flying American flags. This is a strong brotherhood. We love them all. GOD BLESS AMERICA!!
And here are some of our women military veterans from World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and Desert Storm. We are proud of them all. They answered the call of duty for their country and served proudly. They are NOW serving in combat roles, flying our fastest jets into the teeth of the 'mighty' Taliban. Mighty is yet to be seen with this Taliban....
Here are several motorcycle mounted Gulfport policemen. They were working traffic control along the entire parade route. Here they are performing a precision drill (weaving in and out of each other at close intervals with their sirens blaring). Other than this one performance, they worked the traffic.
This red convertible is carrying George Washington and his wife Martha Washington. Ole George is known as 'The Father of Our Country'. He kicked King George's butt back to the British Isles in the 1700's. Go George!!
The Sheriff's Department helicopter circled overhead prior, during, and after the parade. They had the capability to communicate with all law enforcement and military personnel on the ground. They were our 'eye in the sky'.
I stopped and met this retired Full Colonel and his wife (from Berlin, Germany). He was so interesting to talk to, I spent the rest of the parade talking to him and taking pictures of the parade. He was in Vietnam 3 different times. He put his dress cap on for the parade (with all the scrambled eggs on the bill). As we stood there, every military man and veteran saluted him and shouted their well wishes and thanks. Makes you proud to be an American on a day like this!!
And these two ladies were nurses in Vietnam in the 70's. If you look closely you can see the Lt Colonel silver oak leaf on the hat of the nurse on the right. I stopped and shook their hand and thanked them for their service to our country.
Highway 90 is a highway which parallels our 28 miles of white sand beach. Two lanes were cordoned off for the use of this lengthy parade. Security was relatively tight (but reasonably unobtrusive). I will show you some of the highlights of security in action. Here, as an example, are two mounted Sheriff's deputies. They were graciously allowing all who wanted to, to pet their horses as they leisurely made their way down the parade route to ensure it was unobstructed and parade ready.
And, the people came early to get a 'front row' seat. Here are two grandparents who were later joined by their entire family. Notice the patriotic hats.
Here is a flag vendor. Sold nothing but flags. For your car, for your house, to hold, if you wanted or needed a flag, this was your place to stop.
The vendors were working the crowds selling trinkets, cotton candy, flags, just about everything to attract a young kids eye.
There were policemen on foot and policemen on bicycles like this one here. They were extremely mobile with the crowd.
And should a problem of any magnitude developed, there was a Navy Seal Team in the parade. They were decked out in full warpaint. Machine guns were fully visible.
Our future military. These kids train under retired military officers for the duration of their high school. The best ones go on to the University ROTC program and become military officers.
Here comes representatives of the Union and the Rebel Calvery (from the Civil War). And infantry marching behind them.