Raleigh veterans host scaled back ceremony after parade cancellation

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Sunday, November 5, 2023
Raleigh Veterans host scaled back ceremony after parade cancellation
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Hundreds of veterans gathered in downtown Raleigh to listen to the event speakers and celebrate veterans.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- A tradition honoring those who served our country is looking a little different this year. After a last-minute change not allowing motorized vehicles, the 2023 North Carolina Veterans Parade in Raleigh was scaled back.

Organizers opted to still have the ceremony itself at 11 a.m. near the north side of the State Capitol in Raleigh.

There were still hundreds of veterans gathered downtown to listen to the event speakers and celebrate veterans. They said it was nice to still be able to see all the support from people in the community thanking them for their service. But they also admit it just wasn't the same without the parade.

The parade was initially supposed to have 150 vehicles, but with the short notice, veterans said it would have been a logistical nightmare for elderly veterans and amputees who needed those vehicles.

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ABC11 spoke with Veterans who hope that can change next year.

"Let's have a parade, and have the parade as you have always had. Make sure it's a little bit safe, I mean like said one incident in 50 years of parades I just don't think that's a good reason for canceling," said Army veteran Frank Ferraro.

The decision was made after the tragedy at last year's Raleigh Christmas Parade when 11-year-old Hailey Brooks was hit by an out-of-control parade truck and killed. That prompted the city to no longer allow motorized vehicles in this year's Christmas parade. City leaders said the same decision was made for the Veterans Day Parade for consistency.

The city meanwhile, is both apologizing and defending its decision, saying parents in Raleigh will look at it a lot differently in the future.