Seven representatives of the California Highway Patrol will collectively serve as Grand Marshals for this year’s San Fernando Valley Veterans Day Parade on Sunday, Nov. 11.
Jack Fitzpatrick (Marines, 1967-73), Jesus Maya (Navy, 1991 to present); Robert Parsons (Navy 2004-2009), Dick Hirsch (Army, 1961-69), Harry Peck (1967-68), Gilbert Alvarez (Marines 2011-2015) and Yeu Te (Army, 1999-2007) are all veterans and members of the West Area CHP. They will lead off the 15th annual parade that begins promptly at 11:11 a.m., in Mission Hills.
Also scheduled to fly over the parade route and review stand at 11:11 a.m. is the LA County Fire Department Fire Hawk Helicopter based at the Barton Heliport in Pacoima. Other aircraft that will be visible between 11:35 a.m. and 11:40 a.m include a squadron of WWII era Condors planes from Van Nuys Airbase, all vintage AT-6 Texan aircraft used in WWII training missions.They will fly in formation as they make their passes.
The parade is expected to involve more than 100 veterans’ groups. Since the inaugural parade in 2004, only Veterans and current military personnel ride in the parade. High School bands, ROTC units and the Naval Sea Cadets are also allowed to march in the parade.
The San Fernando Valley Veterans Day Parade is the largest such parade in the Valley and Los Angeles county, according to Fred Flores, parade organizer.
The parade route begins at the corner of Laurel Canyon and San Fernando Mission boulevards in Mission Hills, and will proceed south on Laurel Canyon Boulevard for 1.1 miles. The parade will end at the corner of Laurel Canyon Boulevard and Paxton Street.
Those attending the parade can find free parking available at the San Fernando High School Football Stadium home side parking lot. Vehicles should enter off O’Melveny Avenue and Chamberlain Street.
In addition, a street carnival begins Friday, Nov. 9 and continues through Sunday at Ritchie Valens Recreation Center, located at 10736 Laurel Canyon Boulevard near Paxton Street.
Veterans Day originated as “Armistice Day” at the end of the first World War (WWI). The first annual celebration under the new name of “Veterans Day” was formalized by Congress in 1926.
This year, Veterans Day also marks the Centennial Commemoration of the end of WWI on Nov. 11, 1918.