DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The weather wreaked havoc in the moments before the start of the Greater Dallas Veterans Day Parade when a nearly 50 mph wind gust suddenly blew through.

The wind toppled tents set up at Dallas City Hall Plaza.

Like many others, Ken Siegler said the weather seemed to come out of nowhere. “Pretty crazy. Came in pretty fast as well. Got cold real quick!”

Some people took cover near City Hall, and sat down on the ground against a concrete wall to avoid the wind gusts blowing over them.

Others just ran to help.

Treasure of the Greater Dallas Veterans Foundation, Woody Alexander, which sponsors the parade said, “It was scary. Everything was blowing over.”

The wind gusts became calm as quickly they blew in, and Alexander squashed any doubt the parade would go on. “We sucked it up and said ‘let’s do it.’ ”

He served during the Vietnam War and said weather is something all those who serve in the armed forces have to deal with. “In Vietnam, we had the rainy season, we had the dry season, and the monsoons.”

The cold blast proved no match for the displays of patriotism and gratitude toward Veterans.

Isabella Leija, 8, was waiting to see her brother. “He’s somewhere in the parade, I can’t find him.”

Jack Caddell, 91, braved the weather to salute the courage of his brother Tony, a staff sergeant whose plane was shot down over the English Channel during the Battle of Normandy in World War II. “Even after all this time, there’s still an empty chair at the table and we’ll never forget him.”

Follow Jack on Twitter & Facebook: @cbs11jack