It may not be as popular as other parades in the city, but Haverhill’s annual Veterans Day Parade still holds a special place in organizer John Kazarosian’s heart.
Kazarosian is the master of ceremonies of the annual parade, which this year is on Sunday at 10:30 a.m.
“It’s important to remember the price that was paid not only by veterans, but by their heart-broken families as well,” he said.
Kazarosian has been in charge of the parade for about 20 years. Each year, he looks forward to it.
“I fully enjoy it,” said Kazarosian, who served in the Navy during World War II and the Korean War. “People don’t even ask me to be there anymore. They just assume I will be there.”
Kazarosian said he is somewhat disappointed at the lack of spectators and interest that comes with the Veterans Day parade as opposed to parades which draw larger crowds in the city such as the Santa Parade and the Memorial Day Parade.
“The least people can do is to thank the veterans,” he said. “But with the economy and no one working, they are thinking of that stuff other than attending a parade.”
The Memorial Day parade is a longer route which generally brings a larger crowd of spectators. The warm spring weather also attracts more people to that parade in May.
This year, the parade will form at 10 a.m. in front of VFW Post 29 on Kenoza Avenue. The march will begin at 10:30 a.m. and proceed to Monument Square, and then down Main Street to the Global Peace Monument on Ginty Boulevard.
After the parade, Kazarosian will give his annual speech which he titles his “Veteran’s Day Message.” Each year, he likes to remind the crowd about the purpose of the holiday and the parade.
“I think as time goes on, people forget about the veterans,” Kazarosian said. “Sometimes all that is needed is a simple thank you to the veterans for his or her sacrifice.”
Kazarosian also likes to note the differences between Veterans Day and Memorial Day.
“A lot of people I talk to don’t know the difference,” he said. “Veterans Day honors all soldiers who have served our country. Memorial Day is remembering those who have died.”
Kazarosian will also pay special tribute in his speech to Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, two former Navy SEALs serving in Libya who were killed when the U.S. embassy there was attacked.
Groups who will be marching in this year’s parade include members of the VFW and Amvets veterans organizations; the Masonic Fraternity of Haverhill; federal, state and city officials; the Boy Scouts; and the Girl Scouts.
A buffet luncheon will be held after the services at the American Legion Farm, 1314 Main St.