Communities around Alaska celebrated the 240th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence Monday. In Anchorage, a parade took over the Delaney Park Strip downtown. Thousands turned out to cheer on the dozens of organizations taking part.

Current and former military groups led the parade, including the Alaska Territorial Cavalry (Motorized). The group collects and restores old military vehicles, dating back 70 years.

“It’s part of how we show our patriotism every Fourth of July,” said member Mark Strumsky. “Most of them are from World War II, but then we have some from the Korean War and Vietnam.”

The vehicles are a reminder of the generations who’ve served and why. Riding in one of the vehicles was American Legion Jack Henry Post 1 Queen Jeanne Ostnes. She said reflecting on our nation’s history is part of celebrating Independence Day.

“I don’t think there’s a lot of remembrance and I think that’s kind of our job, as citizens, to try and keep that remembrance out there,” Ostnes said.

“When you consider only two percent or less of Americans ever serve in the military, in a way those one or two percent are kind of taking care of business for the rest of us,” Strumsky added.

Taking part in parades is one way for groups, like the Cavalry and the American Legion, to raise awareness and work to support local veterans and military community.

KTVA 11’s Bonney Bowman can be reached via email or on Facebook and Twitter.