MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — There has yet to be a local parade to thank American soldiers for their service.

That’ll change with the Twin Cities Heroes Parade beginning at 11 a.m. on Saturday, and heading down Nicollet Mall. A flyover will take place at 11:30 a.m.

It’s a grass roots parade organized by Ericka Palmer, although she admits she’s gotten plenty of help.

“I think we should stop and say ‘Thank you’ when a war ends,” said Ericka Palmer.

Armed with a laptop computer and plenty of good intentions, she’s planning to do just that.

She’s modeling it after grass roots parades that have popped up around the country, starting after New York City wouldn’t schedule an official parade. Now she’s gotten an official proclamation from Gov. Mark Dayton, and plenty of help from city hall.

“I just want to have the sidewalks just filled with people, with flags, and with signs,” she said. “To give them a wonderful experience.”

After 10 years of fighting, she thinks the soldiers deserve our thanks. She started planning the parade for the spring, but moved it back so that the returning Red Bulls could be there.

“I think it’s really cool when people stop waiting for someone to tell them to do something,” she said. “And they just take it in their hands and show the gratitude that these people deserve.”

“I’ve never marched in a parade before,” said Staff Sgt. Racheal Robinson. “So it’ll be really exciting.”

She spent a year in Iraq, and currently works for the Department of Military Affairs.

“I am actually lucky to be in this generation,” Robinson said. “Because I know there’s people like the Vietnam veterans, and things like that — they didn’t have as much support as we have now.”

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