11/10/04 — Parade to honor veterans

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Parade to honor veterans

By Sam Atkins
Published in News on November 10, 2004 2:01 PM

A parade Thursday to honor and remember all of the men and women who have fought for the United States will involve many area organizations.

The annual Wayne County Veterans Day Parade will be at 11 a.m. beginning at the 200 block of South Center Street. It is being sponsored by the Wayne County Veterans and Patriots Coalition. Everyone is encouraged to come out around 10:30 a.m. to find a spot.

There are around 60 groups signed up to participate in the parade, including area fraternal organizations; bands; the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts and Brownies; National Guard members and vehicles; active-duty military personnel from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base; and members of the Wayne County Sheriff's Office, Goldsboro Police Department and area fire departments.

There will also be several veterans groups walking and riding, including the Purple Heart Association, American Legion, and Veterans of Foreign Wars, said George Carberry with the Coalition. Line-up will be at 8:30 a.m. at the 200 block of South Center Street.

Many distinguished visitors will be on the viewer's stand. Retired Col. James Hiteshew of Pikeville will be the master of ceremonies. He was a POW in Vietnam for almost six years. He was stationed at Seymour Johnson in 1966 while flying the F-105D. He was assigned to the 335th Tactical Fighter Wing at Takhli Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand.

His plane was shot down, and he was captured on his 75th combat mission over North Vietnam in March of 1967. Hiteshew was released in March of 1973 and returned home. He was then assigned to the 68th Bomb Wing at Seymour Johnson.

His decorations include a Silver Star with one oak leaf cluster, a Purple Heart with one oak leaf cluster, a Legion of Merit, a Meritorious Service Medal, and others. He retired from the Air Force in December of 1979.

Also in attendance will be local officials; Col. Mike Holmes, 4th Fighter Wing commander at Seymour Johnson; and Col. Paul Sykes, 916th Air Refueling Wing commander.

Rose Whaley from Pink Hill will read a poem titled "Will the Circle Be Broken." Her grandfather is a veteran of World War I and World War II.

Senior Master Sgt. Dolly Witt from Seymour Johnson will be the emcee and sing "The Star Spangled Banner."

Following the parade, there will be a wreath-laying ceremony at the Doughboy Statue on the Walnut Street side of the Wayne County Courthouse. During the ceremony, military, civic and governmental leaders will pay tribute to all veterans, those still in the military, those retired and those who lost their lives protecting their country's freedom.

Holmes and others will speak and there will be the playing of taps and a 21-gun salute. Refreshments will follow at the Wayne County Museum at 116 N. William St.