Let’s thank our veterans on Saturday

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While the official Veterans Day is not until Sunday, Lancaster County residents have a chance to honor their local veterans on Saturday. That chance will be at the annual Veterans Day Parade slated to begin at noon on Main Street.
With the election finally behind us, we have the opportunity to focus on thanking and honoring those who risk their lives to protect our freedom both here and on the foreign fields. Many of them have made the extreme sacrifice for our freedom.
Our annual tribute to veterans began at the end of World War I on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. Originally called the Armistice Day, its purpose was to be a day dedicated to the cause of world peace.
In 1954, Armistice Day became Veterans Day to honor veterans of all wars. Over the years there have been a lot of changes in society. Americans are inclined to challenge a war where we don’t feel our troops belong. We applaud getting our soldiers out of Iraq and worry about our troops and what they are facing as they withdraw from Afghanistan.
Technology has also changed. There are sophisticated computer-guided weapons like smart bombs that allow for exact targeting of strategic sites at distances far from harm’s way.
One thing that never changes about wars is its lifelong impact on the lives of soldiers and their families. That’s why it’s so important that we thank them for their service to our country and our freedom. And we can do that at the parade on Saturday.
Lineup for the parade will begin at 10:30 a.m. behind the historic Lancaster County Courthouse. Parade participants should park in the new courthouse parking lot at the corner of Dunlap and Catawba streets.
Included among the 70 parade entries this year are a band and color guard unit from Fort Jackson, local high school JROTC units, the local National Guard, Girls Scouts, Boy Scouts and various civic groups. Of course the parade spotlight will be on veterans.
Other activities include a flag-raising ceremony at 10 a.m. at the County Administration Building to celebrate the Marine Corps League’s 237th anniversary.
Then at 10:30 a.m., a dedication will be held for the Lancaster County Veterans Memorial, which is behind the historic courthouse.
The parade begins at noon. The parade route will lead out of the courthouse parking lot to Dunlap Street and then right onto Main Street. It will end at the American Legion, where a program will follow at 1 p.m. The program will feature singing performances, a 21-gun salute and the raising of the American flag.
We encourage you to come out and show your appreciation for our military veterans. They’ve been there for us. Now let’s be there for them.