Parade and ceremonies honors American service men and women
VANCOUVER — Expectant crowds braved the morning drizzle on Officers Row and Vancouver’s streets to honor American veterans Saturday. A cannon shot sounded on the grounds of the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, and signaled the beginning of the 31st annual Lough Legacy Veterans Parade.
Prior to the parade, a ceremony was held honoring veterans at the Providence Academy. The beginning of the parade also coincided with the beginning of the Veterans Day Race to Remember, a running race that honors and remembers veterans.
The parade is hosted by The Historic Trust, a local nonprofit that works to preserve and manage portions of the Fort Vancouver Historic Site. Toni Wise, marketing and communications manager for The Historic Trust, said that the Veterans Day parade helps local residents recognize the close ties to military history the local region has.
The parade featured many different organizations. Local veterans organizations, such as Veterans of Foreign Wars posts, Northwest Battle Buddies and Clark County Gold Star Families marched in the parade.
Numerous Boy and Girl Scout Troops participated. Several bands from local high schools, as well as the Battle Ground and Prairie Air Force Junior ROTC programs, also marched.
Local businesses such as Wells Fargo and The Vancouver Clinic turned out to support veterans, as did numerous clubs and organizations, such as the Clark County Flying Eagle A’s Ford Model A Club and the 1st Oregon Volunteer Infantry and 1st Oregon Volunteer Cavalry, an organization that researches and preserves Civil War history.
In all, 112 separate groups and organizations participated in the Veterans Day Parade.
Attendees lined the parade route to show their support for American veterans. Vancouver resident David Alt held a sign thanking veterans for their service.
“I can’t say it loud enough or often enough,” Alt said, expressing thanks for the sacrifices of American veterans.
Air Force veteran Brian Burks attended the parade with his wife Gail. The 2017 parade was the first time they had attended the event. Burks said that he has “a lot of friends and past family members” that have served.
The parade and the support shown for veterans “kind of means a lot,” Burks said.
Another veteran watching the parade was Navy veteran Keith Dugger. He has been attending the parade for three or four years, and said he came Saturday “just to recognize all the other veterans and thank them for their service.”
“It’s really nice to see the big participation,” Dugger said.
Battle Ground holds Veterans Day Ceremony
On Fri., Nov. 10, the city of Battle Ground held its third annual ceremony honoring veterans at the Community Center.
The ceremony was led by Battle Ground Mayor and Army veteran Philip Johnson.
At the ceremony, veterans present were recognized by the conflicts in which they served, and the branch of military in which they served. Each veteran was asked to stand and give their name, service branch and years served.
The poem “In Flanders Fields” was read by Council Member Mike Dalesandro. After the poem, members of Boy Scout Troop 441 read the names of the 31 Battle Ground residents who lost their lives serving their country in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.
The ceremony concluded with the playing of “Taps” by Chief Warrant Officer Al Pefley, Commander of the 204th Army Band.