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Denver Veterans Day Parade and Festival returns for the 15th year

Over 600 runners raced in a 5k, 10k and backpack race to support veteran non-profits across the city.
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Posted at 2:04 PM, Nov 11, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-11 19:23:10-05

DENVER — In honor of Veterans Day, over 600 Coloradans honored those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country at Denver's annual Veterans Day Run, Parade and Festival.

The event, held at City Park in Denver, donated all proceeds to the Colorado Veterans Project(CVP). CVP supports dozens of non-profits in the city providing services for veterans, such as mental health resources, medical care and housing support.

The parade was broken into sections that represent different conflicts in military history, from the Revolutionary War to modern times. Each one features military memorabilia, like uniforms, vehicles and weapons, from that era.

The marathon featured a 5k, 10k and backpack race. Adults, children and even dogs participated in the events.

James Greene and his partner Maddison Mar crossed the finish line hand-in-hand. Mar is a Space Force veteran, set to leave active duty in just a few weeks. "It's really nice to be here. Celebrate my mom and the generations that have come and served our country," said Mar.

Although her military service is nearing completion, Mar was also excited to celebrate her mother's military career. Angela Ricci spent eight years in the army and also crossed the finish line just moments after her daughter.

Denver Veterans Day Parade and Festival returns for the 15th year

"It is insane to see the people in the rucksacks running," said Mar. "Being on a base every day, seeing veterans and how awesome we've become, it's just really empowering to see that.”

Located at the end of the marathon were dozens of tents. It included non-profits benefiting from the event and companies providing resources for veterans. Doug Beck with Ellie Mental Health is an army veteran himself and says resources are crucial.

"We've all seen the veteran suicide rates," said Back. "They have such camaraderie, sometimes guys get out of service and now they don't have that clear, defined mission."

Beck's group provides telehealth services and counseling to veterans in Denver. So far, they have nine locations throughout Colorado.

"It's important that we support those guys and girls who have served our country so that they can leave their next best chapter," said Beck.

You can view a list of the non-profits supported by the festival at the CVP website.

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