CORVALLIS, Mont. — As always, the Corvallis Memorial Day Parade packed crowds to Main Street with people even spilling onto the highway to watch the annual event.
The parade's grand marshal was a Navy veteran who served in the Korean War from 1950 to 1954.
Ralph Keppel lives in Hamilton and was raised in Missoula.
"I'm delighted to be in this parade," he said. "It's such an honor for me. I'm very pleased to be an American."
Keppel worked in mine warfare during his service.
"Every one of us veterans did something," he said. "Every veteran on the street I say thank you buddy or lady. This is why we have a free country."
"We veterans have a great bond together," he said. "We all know people that have lost their lives in the wars and we respect every one of them."
The parade is sponsored by American Legion Post 91 and the Ladies Auxiliary.
The parade is celebrating its 99th year in Corvallis, and this year veterans are honoring the American Legion on its 100th birthday.
It's often called "The Biggest Little Parade." But it's not very little.
It attracts people from all over the Bitterroot, with many visitors from other parts of the region and around the country.
There's something for everybody to watch, from veterans groups and school bands to tractors and horses and motorcycle riders.
It brings out a great many families, and kids on this cool, clear morning were especially attentive to the colorful entries and the candy that was distributed.