All of the elements that usually make up the parade, including veterans groups, police and fire color guards, Scouts, ROTC students and the high school band, will take part in the ceremony at the park, Guilebbe said.
“Everyone’s still coming,” he said.
Guilebbe said many of the city’s younger veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are police, firefighters or emergency medical technicians who work on holiday weekends and aren’t available to march. They also have young families and aren’t as active in veterans groups as the veterans from World War II, Korea and Vietnam.
“They see us older veterans and they feel like it’s our post rather than theirs,” Guilebbe said. “I’d like them to come together as their own group, and they probably will. They’re still young. Anyone of them that I’ve asked for help, they’re always there.”
Officials in other communities agree it can be difficult for aging veterans to march. In Salem, many veterans ride in a trolley provided by Salem Trolley, said Veterans Services Agent Kim Emerling.
“We pick them up at the VFW, bring them to the parade, and bring them back to the VFW for the collation,” Emerling said. “That takes the edge off.”
Emerling said about 50 veterans participate in the half-mile parade to Greenlawn Cemetery, with up to 300 people watching along the streets.
Beverly veterans who want to march can still participate in ceremonies in Beverly Farms run by the Michael J. Cadigan American Legion Post.
Veterans march a 1-mile route from Private Anthony Rezza Road to West Beach, with stops at seven locations to lay wreaths at memorials honoring veterans.
The parade leaves Rezza Road on Sunday at 9:30 a.m. and ends at West Beach with howitzer and rifle salutes and the tossing of wreaths into the water to honor those who died at sea.