EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – For the first time in three years,  El Paso veterans groups got together for the Massing of the Colors Saturday at El Paso Community College’s Administrative Headquarters.

Veterans groups, JROTC and ROTC programs, police, fire and other color-bearing groups participated to show off their patriotism. In all, more than 30 groups, organizations, schools and scout troops participated.

The event had not been held in recent years because of the pandemic.

Fort Bliss’ 1st Armored Division Band and color guard participated, as well as color guards from El Paso police, the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, the UTEP Army ROTC program and color guards from several area high schools.

The Holloman Air Force Base “Steel Talon” Color Guard  took  part for the first time.

Brig. Gen. Michael Simmering, deputy commander of operations for the 1st Armored Division, was the special guest.

The event is held to bring together veterans and other-like minded organizations for fellowship and to show their patriotic pride.

Both the City of El Paso and the El Paso County Commissioners Court designated Jan. 14 as “Massing of the Colors Day.”

The event was hosted by the Greater El Paso Chapter  of the Military Order of  the World Wars.

The Massing of the Colors is held to “rededicate our faith in the United States and to present our support to the National Colors and the Servicemen and Servicewomen those Colors represent,” according to literature sent out by the event organizers.

“It combines the colors and color guards of Active, Reserve and National Guard military components (units) and veterans, civic and patriotic organizations,” also according to the handout that was sent to KTSM.

MOWW chapters nationally have conducted “Massing of the Colors” ceremonies since 1927, when the organization “inherited” the ceremony from Society of the Massing of the Colors and, to date, MOWW is the only veterans organization to conduct these ceremonies.