PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – After a two-year hiatus during the coronavirus pandemic, Northeast Portland’s annual Veterans Day parade returned with a new route and new organizers.
“It means we’re coming back together again to support our veterans,” said Napoleon Hodgers, commander of the Portland chapter of the National Association of Black Veterans.
Beginning in 1974, the parade traditionally travels along Sandy in the Hollywood District. For the 2022 parade, it started at Northeast Beech and Martin Luther King and traveled north to Alberta, where it ended with a closing ceremony at Alberta and Martin Luther King.
“We brought it to MLK because we wanted to have a more central location, a more diverse crowd, and a lot more community groups,” Hodgers explained.
The parade also lost a big sponsor, but Hodgers said the group “wanted to make sure it never gets canceled again so we took over.”
Those Missing in Action and Prisoners of War were honored with a ceremonial table set for one, and a Native American veteran color guard performed in memory of those who answered the call to serve, all thanks to Hodgers, his group and several volunteers.
“We want to pause to recognize our Prisoners of War and Missing in Action,” one volunteer said. “Seeing people support the military that feels good to me because a lot of people don’t realize we made a lot of sacrifices.”
Hodgers told KOIN 6 News the group put up most of the cash to cover this year’s costs and said it needs the community’s financial support.
Those interested in sponsoring the event can visit the link above.