Springfield Christmas Parade to honor Pearl Harbor veterans

EUGENE, Ore. - The Springfield Christmas Parade is in its 61st year bringing holiday cheer.

But this year will be a bit different.

"When we recognized the date coincided with December 7 - Pearl Harbor - we thought gosh, we'd like to do something that might honor the World War II veterans," said Marilee Woodrow, who chairs the parade committee.

Woodrow made some calls and started tracking down local veterans to honor in the parade, like Harry Reel.

"For 60 years, I never bragged about what I did," said Reel, a Navy veterans. "People asked me about it, I'd answer them, but I never did talk about it a lot."

It's been 73 years since Reel was in the Navy.

He's been recently overwhelmed with the gratitude he's received, like the moment he stepped off the Honor Flight in Washington, D.C.

"There's people standing there, clapping and thanking you, and patting you on the back and shaking your hand," Reel said. "I got to admit it makes a grown man cry."

Reel remains humble about his involvement in the war.

"We were there, we did our job and came home," he said.

The parade begins at 1 p.m. at 21st and Olympic. Motorists can expect some road closures along the parade route.

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