10/27/11 — Few people signed up for Veterans Day parade

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Few people signed up for Veterans Day parade

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on October 27, 2011 1:46 PM

A Veterans Day remembrance that organizers characterized as "a big one" is not yet coming together as they once hoped it would.

With just two weeks until the Wayne County Veterans and Patriots Coalition's annual parade, the organization's president, Bill Graham, said fewer than 20 groups have signed on to participate in the procession.

And that number, he added, seems particularly low given all that has unfolded this year.

The death of Osama bin Laden -- paired with the 10th anniversary of 9/11 -- should have set up a "very, very meaningful Veterans Day," Graham said.

Then throw in President Barack Obama's announcement that all combat troops would be home from Iraq by Christmas, and local residents should have plenty of reasons to ensure Nov. 11 is "memorable" for those who raised their right hand in the name of defending freedom.

The coalition has been planning the parade for nearly a year.

But the event, Graham said, is not simply an opportunity to thank those who served in foreign wars waged long ago.

It is also a chance to show airmen from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base -- hundreds of whom are currently taking air power to enemy forces in Afghanistan -- just how much they are appreciated.

The parade is scheduled to begin Nov. 11 at 11 a.m. along Center Street and Vietnam veteran and county commissioner Andy Ander-son has been asked to serve as grand marshal.

Those who wish to participate can sign up at www.waynegov.com