Veterans Day

Community members gather at the Wall of Honor in front of City Hall on Veterans Day 2018.

Carrying on a tradition that dates to 1950, members of the American Legion Ridge-Igo Post 23 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2066 are teaming up to commemorate Veterans Day with a parade, ceremony and reception.

Parade participants will assemble in front of the U. S. Post Office starting at 9 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 11. The parade itself begins at 10 a.m., and will follow the usual route: south on Morley Avenue to Park Street, then north on Grand Avenue to the entrance of Pep Boys, where it will disassemble.

This year’s parade marshal is Army Staff Sgt. Conrado Humberto Villegas, a 93-year-old World War II veteran who fought in battles during the liberation of the Philippine Islands, after which he landed and fought at Iwo Jima. In 1944, Villegas landed with U.S. occupation forces in Japan before being released from military service in June 1945. (See related story on Page 1.)

Villegas has been awarded the Combat Infantry Badge of Honor, Asiatic Pacific Theater Medal, Philippine Liberation Medal, Victory Medal, Army Occupation of Japan Medal and Good Conduct Medal. He currently resides in Nogales.

The parade also features local veterans, community organizations, school groups and bands.

At the conclusion of the parade, military units will continue north on Grand Avenue to the Wall of Honor at Jesus Cordova Park in front of City Hall, where the Veterans Day ceremony will begin at approximately 11 a.m.

The ceremony will include the posting and retrieving of colors, speeches by Mayor Arturo Garino and post commanders, a POW/MIA ceremony by the Nogales High School Junior Air Force ROTC program, and opening and closing statements by master of ceremonies Miguel Ronquillo.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars will host a reception at the VFW post beginning at approximately noon. All dignitaries and guests, veterans and their families are invited to attend.

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