It was a plethora of patriotism in Sandston Monday, with the Henrico community displaying its largest Memorial Day parade ever. Along with the multitude of veterans and families, Eastern Henrico native and Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl champion Michael Robinson served as the parade's grand marshal.
"The service members we have lost are my heroes," said Robinson in an interview Monday. "Those are the people I look up to, the people who fought and served. Those are the true warriors of this country."
It was the sixth annual Memorial Day parade for Sandston, with the event growing from a small group of veterans, to the entire community.
Members of the American Legion Post 242 & Battlefield Post 144 organized this year's parade, with the day's pageantry also mixing with reflection and remembrance.
Watching from the crowd, Sandston resident Eleanor Houston remembered her brother, lost in war when she was young.
"I had a brother who was killed in the Navy when he was 17," Houston said Monday. "That was in 1943. I read through the information [my parents] got from the War Department, and I could cry."
As marching bands, Corvettes and trucks coursed through the parade route, Sandston native Pete Furbish remembered decades ago when his friends left for war on the same streets, and never returned.
"There are an awful lot of boys in Sandston I knew, who died in World War II," Furbish said. "We appreciate them, I can tell you that. We appreciate what our military service members have done for us."
For now, Sandston spectators hope to send a message that fallen service members will never be forgotten. For Houston, she has a simple Memorial Day message for the families who have lost loved ones.
"They need to stand proud," Houston said. "It speaks volumes about our troops who have made the ultimate sacrifice. And we will not forget."
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