Local cities prepare to honor veterans

American veterans to be honored with parades and ceremonies in Clark County

VANCOUVER — Every November, citizens across America gather to honor and remember service men and women during Veterans Day celebrations. Several towns in Clark County will host celebrations honoring the nation’s veterans this weekend.

In Vancouver, the annual Lough Legacy Veterans Parade will take place on Sat., Nov. 11 beginning at 11 a.m. The parade will be preceded by a Veterans Day Ceremony held at 10 a.m. in the Providence Academy Ballroom.

Organizations recognizing specific military units will appear in the annual parade. Photo by Mike Schultz
Organizations recognizing specific military units will appear in the annual parade. Photo by Mike Schultz

The annual parade is hosted by The Historic Trust, a nonprofit organization that preserves and manages properties at the Fort Vancouver Historic Site.

According to Toni Wise, marketing and communications manager of The Historic Trust, 2017 is the 31st year the parade has been held in Vancouver. For this Veterans Day, Wise said that the parade has a new route.

The annual Veterans Day Parade aims to honor both past and present veterans with historic reenactors also playing a role in the celebration. Photo by Mike Schultz
The annual Veterans Day Parade aims to honor both past and present veterans with historic reenactors also playing a role in the celebration. Photo by Mike Schultz

Instead of proceeding around the perimeter of the Fort Vancouver Historic Site, the parade now goes into parts of downtown Vancouver, Wise said.

The parade begins at the Fort Vancouver Historic Site at the intersection of Evergreen Boulevard and East Reserve Street, and proceeds west along Evergreen Boulevard past Officers Row. It then turns onto C Street at the Vancouver Library, turns west onto 8th Street, then north onto Main Street, before finally turning east on 11th Street to end at the Providence Academy.

The Veterans Day Parade will feature many groups, including civic organizations and historic preservation groups. Photo by Mike Schultz
The Veterans Day Parade will feature many groups, including civic organizations and historic preservation groups. Photo by Mike Schultz

Wise said that 112 organizations will participate in the 2017 parade. These include various veterans groups, local businesses, marching bands, Boy and Girl Scout troops and local history preservation groups.

According to Wise, The Historic Trust’s mission is to “provide preservation, celebration and education about our history,” and the Veterans Day parade is one way of celebrating history and the nation.

“The veterans parade is built around the fact that there is a very deep rooted history of the military” in the area, Wise said, and “that the spirit of patriotism is very deep in our community’s identity.”

The Veterans Day Ceremony at Providence Academy prior to the parade is hosted by the Community Military Appreciation Committee, who partnered with The Historic Trust as part of the Veterans Day celebration, Wise said.

More information about the Lough Legacy Veterans Parade can be found online here.

Every branch of the military will be recognized and honored during the Vancouver Veterans Day Parade. Photo by Mike Schultz
Every branch of the military will be recognized and honored during the Vancouver Veterans Day Parade. Photo by Mike Schultz

Battle Ground Honors Veterans with Ceremony

Battle Ground will also honor veterans at a ceremony on Fri., Nov. 10 at 11 a.m. at the Battle Ground Community Center. According to a press release from the city, Mayor Philip Johnson, a veteran of the United States Army, will lead the ceremony.

The presentation of the flag will be led by local Boy Scout Troop 441. Johnson said that all veterans in attendance will be asked to stand, state their name, branch of service and years of service.

Community members from local community and veterans groups will be present during the parade. Photo by Mike Schultz
Community members from local community and veterans groups will be present during the parade. Photo by Mike Schultz

Additionally, Johnson said that the names of 31 Battle Ground service members who gave their lives for their country will be read at the ceremony. Finally, Chief Warrant Officer Al Pefley, commander of the 204th Army Band, will conclude the ceremony with the playing of Taps.

According to Johnson, the 2017 Veterans Day ceremony will be the third one hosted by Battle Ground. North Clark County has many veterans, Johnson said, and “we want to honor those who did their part.”

“On Veterans Day, the one day of the year that [veterans] are recognized,” Johnson said, “we want to make a big deal of it.”

Other Veterans Day Events

Several other events honoring veterans will be held at locations throughout Clark County this weekend.

In Woodland, the local chapter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars will host a ceremony and reception on Saturday at 2 p.m. to honor veterans. The ceremony will take place at the Woodland Fire Department, located at 100 Davidson Avenue, Woodland, WA.

The town of Amboy will honor veterans with a pie and ice cream social on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. at the Mt. Valley Grange, located at 40107 NE 221st Ave., Amboy, WA.

In the Camas and Washougal area, the Columbia Ridge Senior Living Center will host a free pancake breakfast for veterans on Nov. 10 from 7:30 to 9 a.m. Reservations are encouraged, and can be made at (360) 335-1238.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars post 4278 in the Camas and Washougal region has been visiting local schools for Veterans Day assemblies, member Bob Hitchcock said.

Hitchcock, a veteran of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and a Vietnam veteran, said that the VFW post 4278 will be distributing “Buddy Poppies” outside of the Safeway stores in Camas and Washougal on Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Hitchcock also said that on Saturday, members of the VFW post will place 72 American flags on the streets of Camas and Washougal in honor of veterans.

As a Vietnam veteran, Hitchcock said that he and many others were not well received by the public upon their return. According to Hitchcock, it is important that all veterans are recognized for their service.

“The recognition that we’re receiving now is 10 times more than when we came back,” Hitchcock said.

At the VFW, Hitchcock explained that “we do a lot of things to help the community and help the veterans.”

Deputy City Clerk Bernie Bacon of Camas also said that the Liberty Theatre of Camas-Washougal will show “The Bridge on the River Kwai” on Friday at 1 p.m. and Saturday at 5:30 p.m. with tickets available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

About The Author

Alex Peru is a 2017 graduate of Washington State University Vancouver. He has a bachelor’s degree in History and a double minor in Political Science and Business Administration. Peru grew up in Battle Ground, and graduated from CAM Academy in 2013. He worked for The VanCougar, WSU Vancouver’s campus newspaper, for three years, including one year as the editor-in-chief. When not working, Peru enjoys reading books about history, working on cars and enjoying the outdoors in Clark County’s beautiful rivers, lakes and forests.

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