The Veterans Day parade in Phoenix is going virtual on Wednesday, November 11. In the age of COVID, the parade will look different. Paula Pedene, a spokesperson with Honoring America’s Veterans explains how the parade will function without a live audience.

Going virtual

This year’s march will no longer be an event per se, but a live-streamed “television show,” said Pedene. The march will be broadcasted on cable stations like Channel 3 and Channel 11 and live-streamed on Facebook and YouTube.

“We had so many cases of COVID hitting Arizona early on, that in good conscience, we didn’t’ think that we could have a large-scale special event at the beginning of the flu season,” said Pedene, who expressed concern about public and crowded environments. “So way back in March, we were looking at the numbers, looking at what science was telling us and saying, ‘OK we have to pivot to a virtual event.’”

Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Restore Hope, Cold War, Vietnam War, Korean War, and WWII

The march will feature honorees from seven eras of conflict from WW II and onwards.

“The beauty of honor and recognition…for whatever reason it helps [the veterans] heal. When you’re serving in the military, it’s not always easy: you’re away from family, you’re away from friends, you’re away from our country.

High school essay contest: “USA, A Beacon of Liberty”

Honoring America’s Veterans challenges high school students to write an essay on the theme, rewarding students from each grade with cash prizes.

One of the winners, a German exchange student, wrote of her bewilderment with American patriotism. “When I came here, I was wondering why people were flying the flag; we don’t do that in Germany,” paraphrased Pedene, who spoke of the student’s fascination with American pride and freedom. Another wrote of their hard-working immigrant grandparents and their struggle to bring the family into the country.

“The pride of patriotism, the love of country, the passion of our youth come through in this broadcast,” Pedene said.

Source: https://azpbs.org/horizon/2020/11/virtual-veterans-day-parade-published-broadcasted-and-livestreamed/

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