11/08/11 — Veterans Day Parade plans in place for Friday march

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Veterans Day Parade plans in place for Friday march

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on November 8, 2011 1:46 PM

Some will make their way downtown to see which military vehicles from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base will roll along Center Street.

Others will show up to relive childhood memories of the packed sidewalks they used to experience every time they traveled to the city's core.

But for those who have served -- and those currently serving -- their country, this year's Wayne County Veterans and Patriots Coalition Veterans Day parade represents something far more significant than a simple gathering of neighbors.

It's a chance to celebrate the end of the war in Iraq -- and the thousands of homecomings that will soon come with it.

It's an opportunity to mark the 10th anniversary of 9/11 -- the event that propelled the U.S. into Afghanistan -- while rejoicing in the death of the mastermind of the attacks that unfolded that day.

But perhaps most importantly, it provides Goldsboro and Wayne with another moment to pause -- to reflect on the fact that as the procession makes it way along its standard route, nearly 1,000 men and women stationed at Seymour Johnson will, instead, resume their work in war theaters and beyond.

After a slow start that had officials worried the parade might consist of a record-low number of entries, dozens of organizations have signed on to participate in the event that has been in the planning stages for nearly a year.

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