A busy weekend for local veterans turned out to be not so much fun for other celebrations in the Sacramento Valley.
The Veterans Day Parade in Escalon came off without a hitch on Saturday morning, Nov. 10. Others scheduled for Sunday, Veterans Day itself, had to be canceled because of health hazards from excessive smoke in the valley. Smoke, caused by the Camp Fire that devastated Paradise and a large part of Butte County the week before were expected to severely impact outdoor activities.
The smoke pushed down the valley on serious north winds on Sunday, seeing ceremonies and parades canceled in Oroville, Chico, Yuba City, Marysville, Sacramento and even in Modesto.
Local veterans were able to participate in the Escalon parade Saturday morning though, including Terry Barrett, a Riverbank resident who served in the Navy, aboard the USS Union (AKA-106), which transported troops, ammunition and food during the Vietnam War.
He drove his classic Chevrolet sedan, a 1956 Bel Air, while pulling a newly acquired Airstream trailer. He just had the trailer painted to match the two-tone paint job on his Chevy.
Also riding in the parade – and a coordinator of the event for the Escalon American Legion Gustafson Thompson Post 263 – was Vince Giovaniello, who rode his patriotic-themed motorcycle along the route. The parade was followed a little later in the day by a ceremony at the Veterans Memorial Wall adjacent to the Escalon Community Center and then the serving of a barbecued chicken/ribs luncheon.
Veterans Day this year celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Armistice signed to end World War I, the ‘Great’ War, at the 11th minute of the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. But, since it was on a Sunday, the federal holiday, with time off for many workers, was celebrated on Monday, Nov. 12.