Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick shakes hands with resident Navy veteran Lewis Webster at the Watkins-Logan Texas State Veterans Home Wednesday Nov. 11, 2015 in Tyler. Patrick and District 5 State Rep. Bryan Hughes, R-Mineola, made the stop on Veterans Day to get to know the veterans they represent.  (Sarah A. Miller/Tyler Morning Telegraph)

By: Caroline Hamilton | MyEasttex

Despite the weather, the Watkins-Logan Veterans Day parade was a big hit this morning.

From the free cook-out, to the large marching band, it was patriotism at its finest for this group of East Texans.

It started off with the singing of the National Anthem and a flag presentation by the Alert Academy. Following the opening ceremony, the line up for the parade included the Bishop T.K. Gorman Band, Bell Elementary, St. Gregory School, Grace Community School and Winona Volunteer Fire Department.
The purpose of this parade was to celebrate Veterans Day with current and retired members of the Armed Forces who put their lives on the line for our country.
Sabrina Wheeler, Activity Director for parade, said, “Well these veterans risk their lives for us, and they put their families and everything out on the line for us. This is the least we can do.”
Parade attendants and veterans lined the sidewalks to wave their flags in honor of America’s veterans.
Jerry Hawkins, a US Navy Veteran explained, “It means a lot to me, I feel the kinship with my fellow veterans and I see the appreciation of folks who haven’t served. I know that there are plenty out there that are proud and thankful for those of us who were able to go.”
Jerry Hawkins was accompanied by his brother who is also a US Navy Veteran.
James Hawkins said, “I came up today especially to be with my brother, and to attend a veteran’s parade ceremony. We heard about this facility out here and we accidentally decided that we would come. We are so glad that we did because we saw a lot of good people.”
Veterans of all ages attended alongside their families. It was a way to say “thank you” to the men and women who served to protect our freedom.