Contact: Joe Vargo, Perris Public Information Officer
Phone: 951-956-2120

2009 Veteran's Day Parade Saturday, November 7

City Clerk Judy Haughney and Councilman Al Landers at the 2008 Veterans Day Parade
City Clerk Judy Haughney and Councilman Al Landers at the 2008 Veterans Day Paradel.

“Our Flag Flies Free” is the theme for Perris’ annual Veterans Day Parade, which begins Saturday at 10 a.m. at Perris High School.

While the number of cities in Southern California to offer an official Veterans Day parade has declined in recent years, Perris maintains its strong ties to and great affection for military personnel who served in past conflicts and who are on the front lines in Afghanistan, Iraq and other hot spots today.

More than 50 entries have already signed up to take part in the parade. Those include marching bands, honor guards, color guards, equestrian units, classic car enthusiasts and veterans groups like the VFW and American Legion. A flyover of military aircraft is scheduled for the beginning of the parade. Members of the Perris Valley Women’s Club will release doves as a sign of peace.

Grand Marshal Maj. Richard Wallis, principal of the California Military Institute in Perris, will ride in the parade in the Marine Corps Humvee.

A Boy Scouts troop shows its patriotism during last year’s parade
A Boy Scouts troop shows its patriotism during last year’s parade.

Riverside County Supervisor Marion Ashley, Mayor Daryl Busch and Perris City Council members Mark Yarbrough and

Rita Rogers will ride in the parade. Councilwoman Joanne Evans will walk the parade route.

As he has for many years, Councilman Al Landers will announce the parade.

Landers said he takes great pride in being on the announcing stand. He has been personally touched by war. His brother, Richard, was killed while serving in Vietnam.

“Every one of us who enjoys the freedoms of this country should thank a veteran,” Landers said. “Without their sacrifices, we would not even have a country.”

Mayor Busch, who served as a radar operator in the Navy from 1959-62, said veterans present and past deserve recognition for their time in uniform.

“It’s a pleasure and privilege to take part in this parade,” he said.

Evans, who served in the Marines from 1954-58, said it is particularly important for young people to learn about the service veterans give to the U.S.

“We have so many young people today who don’t know anything about our past,” Evans said. “They couldn’t tell you about Pearl Harbor or the Battle of the Bulge. It makes me kind of sad. I wish they knew more. Our parade provides a great opportunity to meet local veterans.”

Yarbrough pointed out Perris’ long history with the military. The City was founded in 1911, before March Air Reserve Base came into bring. For nearly a century, Perris residents have served at March and continue to deploy to war zones from the base.

The Perris City Council supports redevelopment around the perimeter of the base. Yarbrough and Mayor Busch are serving on the March Joint Powers Commission, which is responsible for converting excess military property into job and revenue-generating enterprises.

Yarbrough said Perris should be proud of the role it’s played in supporting the U.S. military for so long.

“We owe our veterans a debt we can never truly repay,” he said.

The parade route will travel south from Perris High School, at Perris Boulevard and Nuevo Road, to the Perris City Hall Campus, about a mile away.