Saturday, July 08, 2006

Participating in a Tradition

This past week I had the honor to participate in the oldest Fourth of July parade in the country, the 221st Bristol 4th of July parade in Bristol, RI. I volunteered to drive some of my Subvet friends in the parade. Here's a little photo essay of my day with some shipmates.
(Click on each Photo for a larger view)

My vehicle in its dress red white and blues and ready for patrol.

Lead unit for the SUBVETS contingent with its hybrid boat model in tow.

One of the senior WWII Subvets and wife in attendance.
He served aboard the USS Batfish SS-310 during a number of War patrols including the patrol where they pulled a hat trick and sank three Japanese subs in three consecutive days during their sixth war patrol.

RI Senator Jack Reed and Representative Patrick Kennedy were there talking to the assembled veteran groups.

Midshipmen mustering in the hot sun before the parade.

Of course, the Air Force unit is mustering in the shade.

Marine color guard ready for action.

Unknown military unit. By the look of the uniforms possibly from Europe?

Three corner hat types were in abundance.

Marching bands in our staging area were too many to count.

Time for the Subvets to man battle stations.

Preparing to get underway!

I'm at the rudder and staying in the baffles, my elder Subvets taking point in front of our lead vehicle.

Don't give up the ship flag decorating the house above, point taken.

The sign in the photo above reads:
"America Home of the Free and Protected by the Brave"
Many people along the parade route had hand-made signs like the one above others just applauded us and said thank you.

There were only six of us US Submarine Veterans in attendance, one WWII veteran, three Diesel boat veterans, and two cold war Nuke boat veterans. We all had great day celebrating the founding of this great country.