FORT SMITH, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The ninth annual Veterans Day Parade returned Saturday for veterans and families.

The parade was cancelled in 2020 because of COVID-19. More than 1,200 people signed up to participate in the parade at Fort Chaffee. Lorie Robertson, marketing director for Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority, said it’s great to have the event once again.

“We are very excited and the momentum is great,” Robertson said.

One veteran, Robert Ducker, said the parade holds great significance to him and his fellow veterans.

“This parade means everything to us, it’s an opportunity for the people to say that they appreciate us by coming out,” Ducker said.

Robertson said Fort Smith is a military community and is the perfect place to honor those who have served in the military.

“This is kind of sacred ground here at Chaffee Crossing for the veterans, they really feel connected to the land and connected to our nation through the training and service many of them had here and across the country in other installations like this,” Robertson said.

In addition to the parade, there were veteran information booths, food stands and activities for families.