(DES MOINES) Today, Gov. Terry Branstad announced additional details regarding this Saturday's "A Salute to Our Veterans and Service Members Parade."
This year's celebration is a salute to all veterans and service members and correlates with the official United States Department of Defense Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War and 60th Anniversary of the Korean War.
"It is important to honor our heroes here at home," said Branstad. "As a former member of the Army, and now Commander in Chief of the Iowa National Guard, I am proud of the men and women who represent our state on the battlefields across the world and when disaster strikes here on the home front."
The parade will kick off from the State Capitol and travel down Grand Ave. to disperse at Veteran's Auditorium/Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center. The parade route map can be viewed here.
Saturday's parade will officially begin at 10 a.m. with a fly-over by the 132nd Fighter Wing down Grand Ave. City of Des Moines police vehicles and official colors are scheduled to start the parade on the ground. There is no grand marshal for the event, rather a riderless horse will lead the parade participants. A riderless horse is a traditional entry to represent fallen soldiers. The governor will walk in the parade wearing his military uniform.
Spectators are invited to watch the free parade and honor Iowans for their service. Observers can expect to see a variety of parade entries included, but not limited to:
Veterans and Service members
Various military groups, battalions, bands, and vehicles
Wells Fargo Stage Coach
The Iowa Veterans Home Eagle Bus
American Red Cross
Secretary of State's Honor a Veteran
Raccoon River Riders Equestrian Drill Team
Specially wrapped trucks from DMACC and Hy-Vee
The parade developed off a similar event that Gov. Branstad held in 1991 to welcome home soldiers from the first Iraq war. The Governor's office has been working in conjunction with the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs and Iowa National Guard to coordinate the details of the parade.