Veterans Parade Captured the Heart of Antioch

We’ll have to wait a century for a repeat of the 11-11-11 phenomena. Come to think of it, that might have been a bit fanciful, Saying ‘we’ that is. In my case I’d certainly have the last laugh on social security. For now, though, we can all boast that we experienced a “repunit palindriome.” How’s that for a mouthful? ‘Repunit’ means a number such as 11, 111, 1111 that contains only the digit “1”.

The number mania got me so curious that I looked closely at my odometer and saw that in 102 miles I would hit 111,111 miles. I hung a note on the visor to remind me to try and show my grandson the milestone, or if I’m on a commute, at least to honk and act crazy. Life is short. Why not recycle the teenage years?

True to to form, Las Vegas had their own way of celebrating 11-11-11 as 200 couples got married at the Little White Chapel. Here’s hoping that some of them have a repunit anniversary!

Antioch may have no wedding chapels but it was not to be outdone. It added its own exclamation to the calendar extravaganza by starting its fourth annual Veterans Day parade at 11 a.m. We had, then, an 11-11-11-11 happening. Best yet, though we had our drizzles, rain or sleet wasn’t going to dampen this affair.

One citizen shared with me the thought of the day; “Lord knows, our men and women in uniform put up with far worse conditions than suffering some measly raindrops. It is the least we can do to honor them.” I say amen to that sentiment.

Honor we did. There was a healthy crowd packing historic Second Street. State Sen. Mark Desaulnier attended as did Antioch Mayor Jim Davis, and Council Members Gary Agopian and Wade Harper and Antioch School Board President Diane Gibson Gray, Vice President Claire Smith and Trustee Walter Ruehlig.

There were four bands, motorcycle groups; representation from all armed forces branches; a dazzling array of civic marching units, all given an introduction by emcee and Asst. Superintendent of Antioch Schools Tim Forrester; Boy and Girl Scouts galore; an overhead helicopter; the splendid East County Military families float; a heartfelt poem by the Mayor’s wife, Sue Davis. Thanks go to Sue and her husband, Jim, and to those who served with them on the organizational committee.

Seems that it was more than the 11-11-11-11 fascination that brought people to the Parade on a damp day. You could tell from the cheers that this event has really captured the heart of Antioch. Plain and simple – they love their veterans.

Walter Ruehlig

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