Cadets from the California Military Institute walking down D Street during the 2011 Veterans Day Parade.
Perris hosts its annual salute to the men and women who put on a military uniform and served the country long ago in far-off conflicts and who today find themselves on the front lines in the Global War on Terror.
The City’s annual Veterans Day Parade takes place at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 3, and features marching bands, equestrian units, dancing units, cheer squads and the appearance of several City dignitaries.
Perris resident Michael Weir, a City public safety commissioner who served in the Air Force and Navy, is the 2012 grand marshal.
“Perris has a long and strong connection with the U.S. military,” said parade coordinator Veronica Arana. “Our Veterans Day parade is a reminder of how much we think of the people who preserve our way of life.”
The Perris High School Army ROTC marched in the 2011 parade. The annual salute to veterans features marching bands, military units and lots of pride and patriotism.
Arana said the first 150-visitors will receive t-shirts and a U.S. flags. In addition, flags will be hung from light poles along D Street, creating a canopy of red, white and blue for parade participants and visitors.
Visitors to Saturday’s parade are encourage to line D Street between Fourth Street and San Jacinto Boulevard to get the best look at the floats, marching bands and military units.
Perris City Councilwoman Joanne Evans, a former Marine, said the City’s commitment to veterans is as old as the 101-year-old community.
“Perris has always been a very patriotic City,” Evans said. “Some of the founders were Civil War and Spanish-American War veterans. We have more than 900 veterans buried in our Perris Valley Cemetery. Freedom is not free and our veterans have, and are paying the high price.”
Perris Mayor Daryl Busch, who served in the Navy, said the City honors veterans past and present because without their willingness to serve, the U.S. would not be the land of the free.
“They are the ones who give us the opportunity to have events like parades where we can celebrate out freedom,” Busch said.
Weir, the parade’s grand marshal, joined the U.S. Navy in 1970 and served aboard the destroyer-tender USS Bryce Canyon. After leaving the Navy in 1974, Weir enlisted in the Air Force and was stationed at March Air Force Base (now March Air Reserve Base) as a firefighter. He served during Operation Desert Storm in 1991, after which he left the service.
Weir also served with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office as a correctional deputy, rising to the rank of sergeant before retiring in 2002. In 2009, he was appointed to the Perris Public Safety Commission. He is a member of the Perris Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Perris Valley Rotary and the Inland Empire Buffalo Soldier Association.