The beat of drums echoed throughout the streets of West Springfield on Monday morning, as hundreds marched in this year's Veterans Day parade.
The parade started at the St. Thomas School and ended at the town's Veterans Memorial Park.
"This is the largest one we've ever had, more than six musical groups in the parade this year, military units, more participation...," said James Berrelli, Jr., the director of Veterans Services in West Springfield.
However, it's not just about the large amount of participation in this year's parade that makes it so special.
For many people who marched, it also meant paying their respects to the special people in their lives who fought for them.
"I'm marching personally for my uncle and my grandpa who both went into the war for me, to be able to have this lovely freedom... my uncle is still out there," said Alyssa Blair from West Springfield.
As the parade made it's way through town, residents lined the streets to show their patriotic support for the men and women who have marched into battle.
One resident even took this opportunity to teach his 5-year-old son, Lincoln, the importance of Veterans Day.
"On the way over this morning, I was explaining to him that veterans have protected us from people that would seek to harm us, and they are the reason why we have the freedoms that we enjoy," said Mike Sorcinelli from Feeding Hills.
Lincoln now has a new appreciation for what veterans did for him.
"The veterans fight for our country, and they protect us from bad people," said Lincoln Sorcinelli from Feeding Hills.
Copyright 2012 WSHM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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