EDINBURG — The city will be honoring its veterans virtually this year, and is asking the community for help to do so.
On Nov. 11, Edinburg will be hosting its 12th annual Veterans Day Parade, which for the first time, won’t have a live audience. It instead will be broadcasted live as a safety precaution due to the pandemic at 10 a.m. that day, Veterans Day, on the city’s cable network 1300 and the city’s Facebook Page.
The city is hoping to feature locals who have served the country and is inviting the community to submit photos of Edinburg veterans. To participate, pictures should be submitted to www.edinburgarts.com/veteransparade.
“We want to get in touch with as many veterans possible, so that we can include them in the video and recognize their service,” said Magdiel Castle, the assistant director of cultural arts for the city.
At the website, those submitting will have to fill out a registration form and provide contact information, along with biographical details about the veteran, including their rank, military branch and years of service.
“We sometimes experience modesty from veterans who might not really want to participate, but we want to recognize them because it is important for the community to know who they are, the service they provided and their selflessness,” Castle said.
The last day to submit an application is Sunday.
The city is also encouraging residents to decorate the outside of their homes to collectively sport support for locals who have served the country.
Kicking off the virtual parade will be an unveiling of a mural, followed by messages from local community leaders.
An interview with Francisco Barrientes, a veteran who graduated from Edinburg High School, will also be broadcasted. Barrientes, who was drafted in 1968 in the U.S. Army and sent to Vietnam, is the namesake for ECISD’s Barrientes Middle School.
The pandemic is not going to stop the community from honoring the bravery of veterans like Barrientes, Castle said.
“Despite the pandemic and despite what anyone says, veterans are people who should be respected and acknowledged for their sacrifices,” he said. “For those who have gone to war for those who served, their valor and sacrifice and their selflessness is nothing small… To continue the veterans parade is holding onto our culture, our local traditions and that is why it’s important.”