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Nov. 11 is the day set aside to give much-deserved recognition to those who gave their lives in service for our country.
Veterans Day was established for that very purpose in 1918. That date coincides with the ending of World War I, also known as the Armistice, which was signed on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.
Celebrations across the nation include laying of wreaths at memorials throughout Washington, D.C., and festivities and parades in towns across America. Veterans of all wars will also be recognized for their service.
In Lancaster, we plan to honor our veterans with a downtown parade and ceremony on Saturday. As of press time, 72 entries were signed up to participate in the parade at 10 a.m.
This year’s lineup includes local officials, churches, clubs, Scout groups, high school bands and veterans from various wars, including World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and even prisoners of war.
Veterans Affairs Officer Robin Helms says she is pleased with the number of entries in this year’s parade.
Helms encourages people to give up one hour of their day on Saturday to show support and appreciation for the veterans.
“Our veterans spent years away from their families,” she said.
We also encourage you to come out and show your support. Saturday looks to be a good day for a parade. The weather forecast is sunny and cool with highs in the upper 50s.
Line up for the parade will begin at 9 a.m. at the Humana (Kanawha) parking lot on White Street. If you are lining up for the parade, you are asked to enter the Humana parking lot from Market Street.
The parade will go from Arch Street and turn left on Main Street, ending at the American Legion Building on South Main Street.
Normally, the parade begins at the historical Lancaster County Courthouse. For the second year, the parade route has been changed because of construction on the new courthouse and restoration of the old courthouse.
After the parade, there will be a program at the American Legion. A choir from Lancaster’s Second Baptist Church will sing patriotic songs. The Lancaster Leathernecks – the local detachment of the Marine Corps League – will perform a 21-gun salute.
Lancaster resident and pastor Curtis Cameron Sr., who attended last year’s parade, said he thinks the parade is a good way to show support for veterans.
“It’s always a real blessing to be patriotic to those who have served in the present and past,” he said. “They are willing to shed their blood on some foreign field so we can have freedom.”
The Veterans Day parade is a way to to pay tribute to those who fought for our country and remembering those who died doing so.
We encourage you to come out and show your appreciation for our military veterans.
We owe them a debt of gratitude. Please join us as we express that gratitude.