The 10th annual Liberty County Veterans Day Parade, hosted by the East Liberty County American Legion Post 321 marched through downtown on Nov. 12.
The parade featured the 3rd Infantry Division Color Guard and band from Fort Stewart, both Bradwell Institute and Liberty County High School bands, JROTC units, Girl Scout and Boy Scout troops and Shriners, as well as many veterans and businesses honoring those who served.
This year’s parade marks the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, and according to Post Commander Dennis Fitzgerald, the parade is dedicated to that very same anniversary.
In a previous letter to the editor, Fitzgerald said there would be other observations of Veterans Day around the area, which included a ceremony on Nov. 10 at the Hinesville VFW.
“We had 256 participants in the parade this year,” Fitzgerald said. “The parade was an outstanding and huge success. Over the past few years, it has steadily grown. People are here for the veterans.”
The legion is currently in the planning stages for next year’s parade, Fitzgerald continued, because veterans and active duty need to be given that word of thanks. We should thank them every day for what they’ve done and are still doing, he added. The post also has their Operation Local Support drive coming up, where they give out baskets to those who are in need around the holidays, he said.
The origins of Veterans Day began when people called for those who died in service to the country be honored for their service. Originally, Veterans Day was called Armistice Day, in honor of the Armistice that ended WWI, but was changed in 1954 to accommodate all veterans, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed Nov. 11 the first commemoration of Armistice Day. The original concept for the celebration was a day observed with parades and public meetings and a brief suspension of business beginning at 11 a.m., according to the website.