Alvarado residents turned out by the hundreds Saturday to celebrate freedom and to thank military personnel presently serving, veterans and those who paid the ultimate price in battle.

Festivities began with a parade spearheaded by the local VFW Post 9299 and included the Alvarado High School band, ROTC, city leaders, members of the Patriot Guard and several antique vehicles.

The parade route extended from the Alvarado Public Library to the Glenwood Cemetery via the Old Settlers Reunion Grounds. The ceremony began with a welcome by John Percifield, president of the Alvarado Glenwood Cemetery Association, followed by an invocation by Warren Odiorne, minister of the Alvarado Church of Christ.

The Alvarado High School JROTC presented colors, followed by the playing of the national anthem by the Golden Warrior Band. Boy Scout Troup No. 217 led the crowd in the pledge of allegiance.

Percifield read the names of veterans added to the memorial list in 2007: Jonathan R. Trulove, Doyle Lee Baker, Glenn Marcus Deal, Madison C. Deal, Lloyd Wayne Forbes, Curtis B. Graham, Jim Brewer Hall, Guadalupe Hernandez Sr., Larry Johnson, George Frances Kaether, Walter Lee Mackey, J.C. Mahanay, Wm. E. “Eddie” McLeroy, Ronald K. Meeks, Thomas Edwin Milner, Joe Earl Pearce, John A. Poche, Frances Emogene Purl, James W. Purl, Walter Lee Record, Jack L. Russell, John R. Walden and Levy K. Ward.

Terry’s Texas Rangers SCV Camp 1937 performed an artillery salute with a Civil War cannon replica, followed by “Taps” played by Mollie Fisher and Stephanie Gunn. The benediction was given by the Rev. Wade Taylor, pastor of First Baptist Church.