SAN BENITO — American flags decorated downtown San Benito as members of the community walked down the street to commemorate the day.

Veterans Day was celebrated starting at 8:45 a.m. with a parade down Sam Houston Street and a ceremony to show support and appreciation to those who have served in the military and those still in active duty.

The ceremony included guest speakers like San Benito Mayor Benjamin Gomez and a performance by the Sullivan Elementary Choir of “God Bless the USA” as the crowd sang in unison.

According to Veteran Advisory Board Vice Chairman Michael Watkins and Chairman Pilar Vega, the celebration has been a tradition for over 10 years.

Watkins is a retired member of the Army, and Vega is currently with the Texas Army National Guard.

“I think it is vital to America to celebrate this day. Americans have served in 11 wars and continue to serve. It is critical we honor them and we help them,” Watkins said.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, Watkins shared a few announcements but also made reference to facts about veterans and the struggles they go through each day.

“We have an on going mental health issue within America. Over 22 veterans die each day because of mental health issues and this is just a part of what we can do to say thank you for that sacrifice,” he said.

Both Watkins and Vega said the families of veterans should also be celebrated and praised for all they do.

“Families are the backbone of Army members. Without them supporting us we wouldn’t be where we are today. Without family we can’t get this done,” Vega said.