Contact: Joe Vargo, Perris Public Information Officer
Phone: 951-956-2120
jvargo@cityofperris.org

Annual Parade Honors Veterans in Style

Airplanes from March Air Reserve Base perform a flyover during the annual City of Perris Veterans Day Parade on Saturday, Nov. 3
Airplanes from March Air Reserve Base perform a flyover during the annual City of Perris Veterans Day Parade on Saturday, Nov. 3.

Perris’ commitment to the U.S. military and those who served in uniform dates back long before the community became a City 101 years ago.

Civil War and Spanish-American War veterans were among the City’s earliest pioneers. Photos more than a century old show Civil War veterans in their uniforms remembering the cost of military service. Pictures captured Civil War veterans marching as part of the Grand Army of the Republic down D Street.

More than 900 veterans are buried at the Perris Valley Cemetery.

Perris once again called to mind its commitment to the military Saturday by hosting its annual Veterans Day Parade, which featured 41 marching units, drill teams, community groups, antique vehicles, motorcycle enthusiasts and a flyover of military aircraft.

Perris City Councilwoman Joanne Evans presents a plaque to parade Grand Marshal Michael Weir
Perris City Councilwoman Joanne Evans presents a plaque to parade Grand Marshal Michael Weir.

The City hung flags along the D Street parade route, creating a canopy of red, white and blue. Spectators lined the street to watch the parade which took place under brilliant sunny skies and pleasant temperatures.

“We need veterans to know that we care about them,” said Perris City Councilwoman Joanne Evans, a former Marine. “We need to show our colors. We are a City that is proud of our military heritage and this is our opportunity to show our patriotism, our Americanism.”

Evans presented parade Grand Marshal Mike Weir with a plaque commemorating his 20-plus years in the service, which included stints in the Navy and Air Force. Weir retired from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department and now serves as a member of the Perris Public Safety Commission. Weir and Perris Mayor Daryl Busch discovered during preparation for the Veterans Day Parade that both
served aboard the same ship—the USS Bryce
Canyon—during their Navy days.

Perris Mayor Daryl Busch stands with a young visitor in front of the Perris Mounted Posse during the Veterans Day Parade
Perris Mayor Daryl Busch stands with a young visitor in front of the Perris Mounted Posse during the Veterans Day Parade.

Weir accepted the plaque during a brief ceremony at the Perris American Legion Post.

“Veterans give us our freedom,” he said. “It is an honor to represent the veterans who have served and are serving now.”
Busch said people need to look no further than the City cemetery to discover Perris’ deep ties to the military. Among those interred are 13 Civil War veterans.

“Our City has a long-time commitment to serving our country,” Busch said. “We are long-time patriots and long-time supporters of our military.”

Perris City Councilwoman Rita Rogers said that even during difficult economic times, the City never considered canceling its Veterans Day Parade.

Perris City Clerk Judy Haughney and Mayor Pro-Tem Al Landers announce the Veterans Day Parade
Perris City Clerk Judy Haughney and Mayor Pro-Tem Al Landers announce the Veterans Day Parade.

“This is part of the fabric of our community,” she said. “It is an honor to salute the people who are making sacrifices on our behalf.”

Riverside County Supervisor Marion Ashley agreed the City carries on its Veterans Day tradition even while most other cities do not.

“It’s really wonderful the City of Perris keeps its tradition alive,” Ashley said. “Perris does it every year, through good times and bad. You can count on it.”

Perris City Councilman Mark Yarbrough remember his son Schuyler and daughter Andrea both presently in uniform. Schuyler serves with the Marines. Andrea is stationed in Germany with the Army.

"Our veterans inspire all of us, " Yarborough said. "They represent the best of what our country has to offer. I am proud of them more than I can say."

As he has for years, Perris Mayor Pro-Tem Al Landers announced the parade, assisted by City Clerk Judy Haughney.  The sacrifice of veterans is never far from his mind. His brother, Richard Landers, was killed while serving with the 101st Airborne Division in Vietnam. He was 19.

Flags line D Street in anticipation of the Veterans Day Parade, creating a red, white and blue canopy
Flags line D Street in anticipation of the Veterans Day Parade, creating a red, white and blue canopy.

Al Landers said he was most pleased to see the hundreds of Perris students marching in support of veterans—formations from the California Military Institute, Perris High School and other campuses.

“I see a bright future for the U.S.,” Landers said. “We have got to remember the veterans who have made us free.”