The Independent Student Voice of NMSU Since 1907

NMSU Round Up

The Independent Student Voice of NMSU Since 1907

NMSU Round Up

The Independent Student Voice of NMSU Since 1907

NMSU Round Up

Las Cruces annual Veterans Day Parade honors Desert Storm veterans 

Leah De La Torre
Frank Brennan, member of the Las Cruces Marine Corps League El Perro Diablo Detachment 478, marches through downtown Las Cruces. Nov. 11, 2023.

Veterans, members and organizations of the Las Cruces community honored Operation Desert Storm veterans in the 28th annual Las Cruces Veterans Day Parade in downtown Las Cruces, on Veterans Day, Saturday, Nov. 11.  

“It is one of the things that Las Cruces does well, they are very supportive and always have been,” said Las Cruces local and parade participant, Rosenda Perez. “There are a lot of people from the area that have served over the years, and it makes me proud to live here and to raise my kids here.” 

The parade began on the corner of Lohman Avenue and Main Street at 11 a.m. Each year organizations and members of the community register to participate in the parade. Main Street and Water Street shut down for the event and a supportive crowd filled the sidewalks.  

According to Bill Hawkins, director of the Veterans Day Parade, there were more than 80 individual entries for this year’s parade, which is the most participation they have had in 15 years.  

Participant in the Las Cruces Veterans Day Parade waves his hand to the crowd. Nov. 11, 2023. (Leah De La Torre)

Participants included numerous military and veterans associations and organizations; the Las Cruces Fire Department; the Las Cruces Police Department; Las Cruces Public Schools ROTC and band programs and cheer and sports teams; NMSU Army and Air Force ROTC; Gadsden Independent School District organizations; car and motorcycle clubs; and other agencies and nonprofit organizations.  

“I think it sort of pulls everybody together for a common cause,” Hawkins said. “For a day, they get to pay tribute to people who have put their lives on the line. Everyone who comes and participates emphasizes that. It is all to honor veterans and I just think it is a good thing.”  

While the parade takes place on Veterans Day each year to honor and celebrate all veterans, parade organizers attempt to have a theme each year to focus on soldiers who fought in specific wars. This year’s theme, “Honoring Desert Storm Veterans,” supports those who fought in the Gulf War from 1990-1991.  

Musician performs on the back of a float at the Veterans Day Parade. Nov. 11, 2023. (Leah De La Torre)

“It is great to see a lot of my fellow brothers and sisters who served with me,” said Dee Thiltgen, a veteran from Illinois who traveled to New Mexico to experience this community event. “We don’t see this in Illinois, so it is nice. There is all the way from World War II veterans to veterans who fought in Iraq. It’s emotional for me.” 

This Las Cruces parade is an annual tradition for many members and organizations of the community but is open to all that want to contribute to the celebration.

“This was my first time attending a veterans parade,” said Thomas Edmonds, a veteran who has served for 23 years and participated in the parade. “People are thanking me for my service, while I am seeing other veterans and thanking them for their service. It is that brotherhood that bonds us.” 

Visit the Las Cruces Veterans Day Parade website for more information.  

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About the Contributors
Elizabeth McCall, Staff Writer
Elizabeth McCall is entering her first year with The Round Up as a Staff Writer. She is a senior at NMSU majoring in Journalism & Media Studies with a minor in communications. She was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico but grew up in Edgewood, New Mexico. Elizabeth discovered her love for writing in middle school, when her love for reading evolved. She became interested in journalism in high school, and since then it has become a passion. She spends most of her time reading and writing, but also loves music, playing with her dog, hiking, and spending time with her husband, family and friends. Elizabeth hopes to make a positive impact at The Round Up and grow as a writer and journalist.
Leah De La Torre, Multimedia Specialist
Leah De La Torre is entering her second year at The Round Up as a multimedia specialist. She will be majoring in Journalism and Media Studies. She grew up in El Paso, Texas. De La Torre has been making videos with her family and friends since she was in elementary school, and her love for the camera continued through high school as she became a member of the video and broadcast team. There, not only did she learn more about photography and video making but gained an interest in journalism. Her other interests include playing the cello, sowing, and listening to her favorite music artists like Her’s and The Strokes. Working for The Round Up, she hopes to continue doing what she loves, being behind the camera and contributing to making and telling stories about her community.

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