More than 60 entries walked, drove, and marched down Sumter Street in Columbia Thursday for the 43rd annual Veterans Day Parade, honoring those who have served.

The parade garnered hundreds of spectators, many of them veterans themselves, who were happy to watch the beloved event after 2020's COVID-related cancellation.

One man who was on the sidelines waiting for the parade to start was a member of the first infantry division in the Vietnam War. The veteran, whose name is Al, said he always comes out to support others.

"It's a tradition for me, in a sense," he said. "Being a veteran, I get a lift out of seeing other veterans and hearing their stories. They got stories."

Another spectator just down from Al, named Fred, was sitting in his chair proudly wearing his Army Airborne division hat. "The entire parade route is lined with veterans today and it's all different ranks, and all different branches of service, and we're here because it's Veterans Day," he said.

The parade entries were from a variety of local organizations including high school marching bands, radio stations, City of Columbia officials and Fort Jackson soldiers.

The route began at the corner of Sumter and Laurel streets, traveling down Sumter and finishing at Pendleton Street.

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