Veterans Day parade draws massive crowd

Erv Giacomini still looks dashing in his olive drab wool uniform, as trim as he was when he joined the Army in 1942.

The Petaluma native, who made four landings on D-Day with the 532nd Engineer Boat and Shore Regiment, stood proud Monday as thousands paid tribute to him and other service members at the Petaluma Veterans Parade.

Petaluma Veterans Day Parade


Giacomini, 88, was one of four World War II veterans from Petaluma who served as grand marshals of the parade, billed as the largest such celebration of its kind north of the Golden Gate Bridge.

The three other grand marshals – Petaluma natives Owen Fredricks, a Marine pilot in who also served in Korea; Bruno Lombardi, an Army Air Corps B-17 tail gunner and prisoner of war; and Robert Harriott, 1st Calvary Pacific – led a procession of about 200 entrants in the parade, attended by about 20,000 who lined downtown streets.

Veterans from every armed conflict since then, representing each branch of the military, were represented in a red, white and blue display of patriotism and gratitude for those who serve the country in times of war and peace.

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