The Wilson County community has several events planned to honor our country’s veterans on Veterans Day.
Preparations are well underway for the community’s annual Veterans Day parade and ceremony to be held Monday in Lebanon.
Activities are set to begin at 10 a.m. at the corner of South Hatton Avenue and West Main Street, where the parade will begin at 10:30 a.m. in front of the library. The path of the parade will then wind its way to the square and continue on East Main Street to the Wilson County Courthouse.
A ceremony honoring all veterans is then set to begin at the courthouse at 11 a.m.
Last year, more than 30 units participated in the parade, and according to Lt. Col. Jim Henderson, this year that number is expected to be larger.
World War II and Korean War vehicles, as well as period re-enactors, are set to be on hand Monday.
Also riding and walking in the parade are color guards, grand marshals, reserve, guard and active forces, JROTC units, veterans, Gold Star Mothers, Boys and Girls Cub Scouts, Shriner vehicles, young Marines, Daughters of the American Revolution, emergency vehicles and others.
All veterans and Gold Star Mothers will be recognized and honored.
Bands from Cumberland University, Lebanon High School and Watertown High School will provide music.
Grand marshals for the parade this year are Army Capt. H. Bert Coble and Pvt. 1st Class Paul Curtis. Both are World War II veterans.
Curtis was a prisoner of war, and Coble was also a combat veteran in the Korean War and former tank commander.
Coble will be the principal speaker at the ceremony and is set to relate some of the action from these wars. He is a noted lifelong educator, serving as music director and professor at Cumberland University, and he founded and toured with an international and national choral group.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, a wreath will be placed on the veterans’ monument to recognize the war dead. There will also be a 21-gun salute, and “Taps” will be performed.
After the ceremony, a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Veterans Park and Museum will be held adjacent to the courthouse parking lot.
Donations and contributions, as well as an appropriation from the Wilson County Commission are funding the new park.
“I think we should be on hand for these events honoring these military personnel who have served and continue to do so in the defense of our country. Just take a little time out of your holiday, all veterans, and those who support them and cheer on the parade as well attend the ceremony and ground breaking,” Henderson said.
The City of Lebanon and the American Legion Post 15 are co-sponsors of the Veterans Day parade and ceremony.