09/06/11 — Veterans make plans for annual holiday parade in county

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Veterans make plans for annual holiday parade in county

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on September 6, 2011 1:46 PM

Andy Anderson

They have been planning it for nearly a year -- the Veterans Day celebration that is about far more this time around than children waving American flags lining downtown sidewalks.

So despite the fact that their parade is more than two months away, members of the Wayne County Veterans and Patriots Coalition are making their final preparations for what they hope will be a proud moment for residents of Goldsboro and the communities that surround it.

"This is a very, very meaningful Veterans Day," said Bill Graham, the organization's president. "So we want to make this a memorable event."

The holiday is special this year because it falls exactly one month after the nation will pause to commemorate the 10th anniversary of 9/11, an event that created thousands of new veterans of foreign wars, he added.

And, as it has each year for the decade since the attacks, the parade will be a venue to honor those from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base who, that very day, will be in Afghanistan.

"This is a big one," Graham said. "So we want to get as many people involved as we can."

The parade is scheduled to begin Nov. 11 at 11 a.m. along Center Street and Vietnam veteran and Wayne County Commissioner Andy Anderson has been asked to serve as grand marshal.

But Graham said the event will only meet the Coalition's expectations -- they hope to double the number of participants that turned out last year -- if "every organization that has a patriotic heart" signs up to take part in the procession.

Those who wish to participate in the parade can sign up beginning next week at www.waynegov.com