Plans are underway for the annual Veterans Day parade and ceremony in Lebanon.
‘This day is specially set aside by a grateful America to honor its nation’s military heroes and all those who serve now and have served our country in the armed forces, here at home and abroad, in war and peacetime, said Ret. Air Force Lt. Col. Jim D. Henderson, coordinator and master of ceremonies. “Freedom is never free, and this day honors those who know this very well in terms of sacrifice, time and sometimes even the dearest things one cherishes.”
Activities for Wilson County and communities will get underway Nov. 11 at 10:30 a.m. in Lebanon at the corner of S. Hatton Avenue and West Main Street as the annual parade will begin. Henderson said it’s expected to be one of the largest held in Lebanon.
The parade will travel to the square and continue up E. Main Street to the Wilson County Courthouse, where a ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. concluding at about noon with a 21-gun salute and the playing of “Taps.”
Restored and preserved military vehicles, grand marshals, Gold Star Mothers, color guards, bands, veterans organizations, JROTC units, emergency providers and equipment, active services and others will move through W. Main Street, around the square and E. Main Street in front of crowds lining the parade route.
Henderson said all veterans are encouraged to attend with their families and participate by marching with other veterans or riding and fellowshipping with others. Transportation will be provided for them and their families back to their parked vehicles at the library after the event.
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 principle speaker at the ceremony. He is a noted lifelong educator serving as music director and professor at Cumberland University, and founded and toured with an international and national choral group.
Henderson said this year is especially notable for him as he has just turned 90, and this is the 60th anniversary of the end of the Korean War.
American Legion Post 15 and the city of Lebanon are co-sponsors of the event.
“Veterans Day 2013 is the highlight of the year for all vets and those who honor and support them,” Henderson said. “One of the most important days of the year is coming next month.
Nov. 11 is Veterans Day throughout the United States and territories.”