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Thousands assemble to say ‘thanks’ to veterans

RENO — Thousands of people of all ages, many waving American flags, turned out for Veterans Day parades Sunday across Nevada.

Parades in Las Vegas, Reno and Virginia City included marching bands, military vehicles, veterans and Reserve Officer Training Corps teams.

Marine veteran Marvin Jenkins, 70, watched the Las Vegas parade from a wheelchair. He’s missing both legs from the knee down, but did not want to talk about his injuries. He said the parade was “very important.”

“It shows the appreciation that the American people give us, because sometimes you wonder,” Jenkins said.

Mary Walker, 84, of Reno, was among more than 4,000 people who showed up for the parade in downtown Reno. She was accompanied by her 88-year-old husband, Myneer, a World War II veteran.

She said five grandchildren have marched in the parade with ROTC teams over the years, including one on Sunday. She said she’s proud of veterans, but wishes U.S. troops could be withdrawn from Iraq.

Air Force veteran Ervin Strand, 71, of Reno, also expressed reservations over the war in Iraq. But he said it was important for Americans to put aside differences and to recognize veterans.

“Sometimes veterans are forgotten and stuck in hospitals,” Strand said. “This is their day to shine.”

Spectators held placards that read: “Land of the Free Because of the Brave” and “Thank You Vets for Keeping the Freedom.”

About 2,000 people watched the parade in Virginia City. Its grand marshal was Glenn Tierney, a veteran of World War II, and the Korean and Vietnam wars.

Veterans also were recognized elsewhere across the state over the weekend, including in Henderson, Elko and Dayton.

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