Austinites took to Congress Avenue today for the city’s annual Veterans Day Parade.
While residents stood and cheered, participants marched their way to the steps of the Texas Capitol for a ceremony honoring veterans lost over the years.
Standing out within the crowd was Peace Washington Costanzo, dressed as Lady Liberty. Costanzo says she’s been dressing in this outfit for the past two years, and feels the outfit was fitting for today’s parade.
“It’s very important for us to remember our heroes of yesterday in order to have heroes for today and tomorrow,” Costanzo says. “We must respect all life and everyone who is willing to support – to give and report for the life of others.”
Costanzo currently resides in one of Austin’s homeless shelters. She says she sees her share of homeless veterans.
“I think it’s shameful,” Costanzo says. “Anyone who’s willing to stand up and support others should absolutely be supported, should never be homeless, and should never live in fear.”
JoAnn Flores was another one of today’s spectators. She says she was in attendance last year; she hopes to continue the tradition.
“I’m just here doing my own little part,” Flores says, “… to let them know we haven’t forgotten about them, and to show them the respect and the honor they deserve.”
Flores says she feels Veterans Day is needed within the armed forces community. “I’m here to thank them and to show my thanks because they put their lives on the line for us, for their country,” Flores says. “We can’t forget that.”