Veterans Day Parade
By Robin Scott
The XIT Rangers are once again sponsoring the annual Veterans Day Parade on Wednesday, November 11, 2009 beginning at 10:00 a.m. The importance of attending the parade in support of those who have served and are serving in the United States Armed Forces should not be understated.
Veterans Day is celebrated annually in the United States and honors military veterans. Veterans Day is also known as Armistice Day and Remembrance Day in other parts of the world on November 11th. November 11th is the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I, and actually, the war ended in the 11th month, the 11th day and on the 11th hour of 1918.
The first Armistice Day was proclaimed by President Woodrow Wilson in 1919, and in 1938, November 11th became a legal U. S. Holiday. In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a bill stating that Veterans Day was a day to honor all war veterans, not soley World War I. Veterans Day is also one of the only U. S. holidays that is not celebrated on a Monday, unless November 11th falls on a Sunday. Congress wanted November 11th to remain a solemn date and an occasion for reverance.
Dallam and Hartley Counties are home to many veterans, both old and young, male and female, and from every branch of military service. Memorial Day celebrated at the end of May honors military men and women who have paid the ultimate price for their service in the armed forces, while Veterans Day honors all military service members, past and present while inspiring military members of the future.
The parade held on November 11th will highlight military service with floats that carry military men and women, as well as special cars for Gold Star families, Purple Heart Veterans and P.O.W.’s. A Gold Star family is one that has received the Gold Star from the United State Government for the loss of a family member killed in wartime. Most recently, the family of Sgt. David Davis received his Gold Star, along with his Purple Heart.
Everyone is enouraged to support area veterans by lining Denrock Avenue from 3rd Street to 8th Street and around Memorial Park (Seventh Street Park). Bring a lawn chair, an American Flag and a voice ready to shout out a huge “Thank You” as Veterans pass by on floats, cars, on horseback and on foot. The Dalhart High School Band will provide the musical backdrop. Once at Memorial Park, Lt. Colonel Doug Johnson, Rear Commander for the 41st Fires Brigade, Fort Hood, will speak. Lt. Colonel Johnson is also serving as this year’s Parade Marshal.
The chance to support area Veterans on Veterans Day 2009 comes just once. Taking an hour out of an otherwise busy schedule to raise a flag, wear Red, White and Blue, and confirm that America is a place worth fighting for, is everyone’s responsibility, and should also be everyone’s honor. Anyone who is a Veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces is also encouraged to get involved in the parade. Contact the XIT Rangers at 249-5758, 249-2791 or 244-4244 to find out how to be a part of the day’s festivities.