Monday, November 11, 2013

Veterans Day parade marches back into downtown Danville

Comments:  The Veteran Parade yesterday was great, Thanks to everyone for the parade and Thanks to all Veterans!  My pictures of the parade!

Posted: Sunday, November 10, 2013 8:49 pm | Updated: 9:43 pm, Sun Nov 10, 2013.                     

Veterans walked, rode floats, motorcycled or waved from other vehicles as they took to Danville’s Main Street on Sunday for the annual Veterans Day parade, back on its traditional route after construction rerouted the parade last year.

Spotted in the lineup were Color Guards from Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 647 and American Legion Post 29; the Disabled American Veterans Chapter 19 float piled with bales of straw for comfortable seating; and motorcycles and classic or antique cars carried veterans.

High school student ROTC and JROTC unit from several high schools marched in support of the veterans, as did marching bands, Boy and Girl Scout troops and other supporters.

Danville City Council members,

numerous fire stations and rescue groups rounded up the lineup.


People arriving to watch the parade lost no time claiming spots on downtown’s newly installed benches, including Navy veteran Herman Thompson, a member of American Legion Post 29.
Thompson said a recent accident sidelined him this year, and for the first time in 17 years he wasn’t on a motorcycle riding in the parade.

“It makes me feel better to sit here and watch it,” Thompson said. “At least I can see my American Legion buddies out there.”

For some Averett University students the day started at Langston Focus School, getting the DAV float decorated for the parade.

Last spring, Shayna Keen, Keiri LaPrade, Mckenzie Pickeral and Jme Myers took Toni Garza’s War in Literature class, and were teamed up with DAV members to get personal responses to some of the literature they read. The bonds between the students and the veterans have stayed in place ever since.

“I had them on my mind and had to call them all and see how they were doing,” Myers said, after giving World War II veteran Lewis Gravely and Vietnam veteran Leward Barker hugs as they met Sunday. “I loved the class; it was amazing.”

Gravely and Barker agreed, noting especially that they enjoyed the grand finale of the class: a trip to Washington D.C. to visit the World War II Memorial, Vietnam Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery and the Holocaust Museum.

LaPrade also said she learned a lot from the class and from the veteran she was teamed with: Edd Allen, who served two tours in Vietnam as a medic and helicopter door gunner.

“It was an amazing experience,” LaPrade said. “He shared a lot with me.”

Thibodeau reports for the Danville Register & Bee.