HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WOWK) — The year was 1929; Huntington would have its first Veterans Day Parade, and that tradition lives on. It has spanned nine decades. Monday morning, American flags filled the streets of Huntington, along the parade route.
Parade participants, which included the Fairland High School Marching Band, made their way down Memorial Boulevard for a special ceremony at the Memorial Arch. Hundreds showed up to a celebration residents say they just could not miss.
“[It] just makes me feel good to know that there’s that many people that appreciate everything that veterans have done for them,” said Vietnam veteran Wes Shephard.
“When you realize they put their normal life aside, they step forward and give their entire being to preserve and protect, it’s very important [to honor them],” said Congresswoman Carol Miller. “We should always remember those people who have done that.”
Keynote speaker and medical director for the Herschel “Woody” Williams VA Medical Center, Brian Nimmo, also weighed in. “Every person that’s ever worn the uniform sacrificed in some way,” he said. “As a country, there’s very little that we agree on. The one thing we can agree on is that service to our country should matter.
We will never know most of them, and it’s difficult to begin to try to understand their sacrifice, but Huntington residents say they will stop at nothing to extend the celebration and express their gratitude.
“Thank your veterans,” said Christy McCoy of Huntington. “Not only on Veterans Day but every day.”