DENVER – It is often said that America is the land of the free, because of the brave. During a Veterans Day parade Saturday, hundreds lined streets around Civic Center Park to honor our nation’s heroes.
Retired Army Veteran Joe Lucas told Denver7 he joined the service when he was just 17-years-old. Nowadays he walks with a cane and his service dog, Cody.
However, during Saturday’s parade and festival he was walking around with more pride than he could imagine.
“I’ve received a lot of ‘Thank you’s,’ I’ve got flags -- all kinds of handshakes and requests to pet Cody. So, it’s a special day,” said Lucas.
Parade patrons included friends and family of our nation’s heroes. Many gathered to pay their respects to the men and women who risked it all.
One of those women is Rebecca Rippetoe Kim. She is a Gold Star family member who is also the Chair of the Colorado Fallen Heroes Memorial Fund.
She said she has such pride in our community and our country after seeing so many people showing support for our Veterans.
Both Kim’s brother and father served in the U.S. Army. She said her brother, Captain Russell Rippetoe, was killed in Iraq on April 3, 2003.
Kim said her brother would have found all the attention humorous. “He would think we’re making a big fuss,” Kim said while she laughed.
Respect for our military families and our country was on the forefront Saturday as the community came together in celebration of our country’s Veterans.
Joe Lucas said the day put a spotlight on Americanism and Patriotism in our current trying times.
Lucas concluded, “I’m not a Republican, I’m not a Democrat… I’m a patriot.”