Reporter: James Gherardi l Videographer: R.J. Burnette
Chatham, VA - Every Veterans Day, the cadets at Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham put on a traditional military parade. Veterans from World War II to Iraq looked on Friday as a new generation upheld a storied tradition.
Nearly 300 cadets marched putting on an impressive display. Veterans watched from the stands as the bag pipes bellowed; and officers led their peers in a parade, organizers say, has roots in this nation leading back to before the Revolutionary War. Administrators say they've maintained this tradition on Veteran's Day every year since the school became a military academy; that was after World War One.
The veterans who participated lined the field at the end of the ceremony for a traditional pass and review. That's when the young cadets marched by the service men and women, saluting them as they passed. Vets on hand say they appreciate the significance of the ceremony on such an important day. Joseph Spence, a Veteran on hand said, "It's very important. I served in the Army and the Marine Core, completed Army and Marine training and lots of overseas tours and so I feel very patriotic." "My last tour was in Iraq with the multi-national core Iraq. Being somebody who has been in the military for quite some time, having lost men in combat, it's a very important time of the year," said Iraqi veteran Brian Kramer.
More than 20 local veterans attended Friday's parade. Administrators say as long as there are veterans, the academy will continue this historic tradition.