November 8, 2013

Veterans Day Parade deserves our support

The Daily Citizen

— Monday marks the 95th anniversary of the armistice that ended what is now known as World War I, signed on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.

In the years since the end of the “war to end all wars,” Armistice Day became Veterans Day. But it is not only a day to honor those who have died in the nation’s defense.

At its heart, the reason for Veterans Day is to thank living veterans for their service to their country and to us.

One way we can thank them is to honor them in a parade, which will happen in downtown Dalton Saturday beginning at 10 a.m. at the corner of Waugh Street and Thornton Avenue.

Veterans of conflicts as old as World War II and as recent as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are expected to take part. And the vets are not just from Whitfield and Murray counties, but vets from the all over the region have been invited to participate.

The parade, put on by several individuals and organizations including the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars posts in Dalton, gives the community a chance to honor those who willingly gave up at least a part, if not all, of their lives so that we might be free to observe this day in whatever way we see fit.

Unfortunately, for too many people, the meaning of Veterans Day has long been lost in the flood of mundane concerns that occupy everyone’s time.

But Saturday offers a chance for the community to come together and cheer on the marching veterans, bands and others who are taking time out to show their support and thanks. Besides the parade, there are many other events planned for this three-day weekend that are suitable for the entire family. After the parade, stick around for a special ceremony in front of the Whitfield County Courthouse including a dedication of the Afghanistan and Iraq War monument and the lighting of the new eternal flame.

Let’s show veterans our appreciation by taking time out Saturday to line the parade route with all the flag-waving, patriotic pride we can muster.