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North country residents line Washington Street for Armed Forces Day parade


WATERTOWN — The Watertown community and spectators from around the north country wrapped up against the chilly Saturday morning air to celebrate the annual Armed Forces Day parade on Washington Street.

The parade began at Watertown High School and proceeded down Washington Street to Clinton Street.

Americans celebrate Armed Forces Day on the third Saturday of May. It is a day to pay tribute to men and women who serve in the United States’s military forces.

This year, the parade celebrated “Courage, Honor, Strength, Duty, Dedication, Excellence, Valor, Commitment and Professionalism” of Americans in uniform.

More than 60 units marched in the parade, including members of the Fort Drum Police Department, area fire departments, Watertown city police, state police and Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department. An assortment of military vehicles also took part in the procession. Fort Drum soldiers and the 10th Mountain Division Band, as well as a few other local bands and community groups, participated in the parade as well.

An all-women a capella group started the ceremonies with a patriotic song. Later, the silence on Washington Street again was broken by the revving of an engine from the parade’s lead-off automobile, a race car representing Chapman’s Can-Am Speedway.

The judges’ stand was set up in front of the Dulles State Office Building. The crowds nearby were entertained by musical acts performed by several area school bands, including Carthage Central School’s marching band. The LaFargeville Central School band performed the popular song “Some Nights” by the band fun., and Alexandria Central School’s marching band and dance group also performed.

One of the final acts was the Original Yanks Drum & Bugle Corps from Antwerp.

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