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Changes to parade return meaning of the day

SPRINGFIELD -- Every year the city celebrates Veterans Day with a parade, but this year, organizers decided to do it a little differently.
SPRINGFIELD -- Every year the city celebrates Veterans Day with a parade, but this year, organizers decided to do it a little differently. They banned politicians and candy. WCIA-3's Ashley Michels finds out why.

Organizers say it was getting to be too much about those things. They wanted to bring the focus back to the reason the day is celebrated in the first place: veterans.

The Springfield Veterans Day Celebration looks like many other parades with floats, crowded sidewalks and music. But, veterans say they've been disappointed the past few years because of low attendance and too many politicians using the parade to campaign.

"Sometimes the parades get slanted too heavily in that direction. Of course, this is Springfield. You expect that from the politicians."

That's why, this year, organizers banned candy and politics from the parade route.

"I think those changes are fine because it's about the veterans and I'm so glad that they're focusing mainly on the veterans and the people who serve."

It's a change many say makes a big difference.

"Today, I think, was really in honor of all veterans from all eras and it wasn't overshadowed."

That's the whole idea. Kids were also encouraged to wave flags instead of collecting free candy and they didn't seem to mind.

"It's important for them to understand why we have our freedom and to understand that these people have served in many wars and we need to show our respect to them."

Many say this year's parade really put the meaning back into Veterans Day.

"I think they stepped back and let the veterans have their day and that's deeply appreciated."
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