Thousands of veterans march in Philadelphia Veterans Parade

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Veterans waved at parade goers and connected with old friends on floats during the 2022 Philadelphia Veterans Parade on Nov. 6. (Cory Sharber/WHYY)

People lining Market Street Sunday paid their respects to former and current members of the nation’s armed forces during the Philadelphia Veterans Parade.

Veterans parading down Market Street connected with old friends and waved to attendees thanking them for their service.

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Veterans waved at parade goers and connected with old friends on floats during the 2022 Philadelphia Veterans Parade on Nov. 6. (Cory Sharber/WHYY)
Veterans waved at parade goers and connected with old friends on floats during the 2022 Philadelphia Veterans Parade on Nov. 6. (Cory Sharber/WHYY)

Judge Patrick Dugan was honored as the parade’s Grand Marshal. He served 23 years in the Army, and throughout the ceremony, reflected on his years of service.

“I’m reminded of my friend Mark Phelan, who didn’t come home,” Dugan said. “Today, this is the parade for those who served and did come home, those who were peacetime veterans. Today’s the day to just kind of acknowledge and say, hey, appreciate what you did.”

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Judge Patrick Dugan served as the parade's Grand Marshal and was embracing some family members following his introduction. (Cory Sharber/WHYY)
Judge Patrick Dugan served as the parade's Grand Marshal and was embracing some family members following his introduction. (Cory Sharber/WHYY)

Charmayne Purnell served for 27 years in the Army and rode on a float with the American Legion. She said events like the parade are important to give people the opportunity to reflect on the sacrifices veterans make.

“We’ve got to make our country strong for the right reasons so that all people, all people, will be safe, will be one, and that’s it,” Purnell said. “We’ve got to love each other. We all bleed the same blood. It’s red.”

Bikers rode down Market Street on Nov. 6, 2022 to kick off the 2022 Philadelphia Veterans Parade. (Cory Sharber/WHYY)
Bikers rode down Market Street on Nov. 6, 2022 to kick off the 2022 Philadelphia Veterans Parade. (Cory Sharber/WHYY)

According to info from the U.S. Census, between 2016 and 2020, more than 56,232 veterans lived in Philadelphia county. As of 2018, there were more than 18 million living in the United States, a decline of more than 7 million since 2000. Although, the number of female veterans is expected to keep increasing in the coming decades.

A parachutist gets ready to land near Independence Hall at the 2022 Philadelphia Veterans Parade. (Cory Sharber/WHYY)
A parachutist gets ready to land near Independence Hall at the 2022 Philadelphia Veterans Parade. (Cory Sharber/WHYY)

Aidan Peterson, a seasoned bugler, performed Taps during the parade.

Marching bands including brass sections and bagpipes could be seen at the 2022 Philadelphia Veterans Parade. (Cory Sharber/WHYY)
Marching bands including brass sections and bagpipes could be seen at the 2022 Philadelphia Veterans Parade. (Cory Sharber/WHYY)

“It’s always great to see the look on their face, and I think it’s really powerful whenever I play at funerals just because, you know, you’re playing for a loved one’s funeral,” Peterson said. “If I can make it a little bit better just by being there, I think it’s really good to see that.”

More than 7,000 people participated in the parade, despite Sunday’s sporadic rain showers.

City Council members and veterans marched down Market St. on Nov. 6, 2022. (Cory Sharber/WHYY)
Parade attendees lined up on sidewalks along Market St. on Sunday. (Cory Sharber/WHYY)
Parade attendees lined up on sidewalks along Market St. on Sunday. (Cory Sharber/WHYY)

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