Columbus,GA/Phenix City, AL Veterans Parade
Nov 1, 2016
For Immediate Release
Phenix City Parks & Recreation
1500 Airport Road
Columbus/Phenix City Veterans Parade
Phenix City, AL/Columbus, GA--11.1.2016: Applications being printed, (check) businesses being contacted, (check) school bands responding with ROTC Units, (check) citizens working on floats, planning meetings, phone calls, emails, advertising, so much to do and so worth it!
We live in a town that has become the hometown for many veterans and their families. They came from all over the country to Ft. Benning. Some stayed and some moved away but decided to come back and make Phenix City, Columbus and the valley their home. We see them going to VFW meetings, sporting events, or just around town. We can recognize them by the caps they wear with Veterans patches on them from various wars. Sometimes we can recognize them by the painful looks on their faces as they try to get around carrying war wounds, both physical and emotional. Sometimes we see some of them walking around aimlessly because they are homeless but we DO SEE THEM. Some Veterans feel invisible because they did not get the homecoming parades or recognition they deserved when they came home from wars. They felt unappreciated and unwelcome at home. We want to let them know that we do SEE them, we KNOW what sacrifices they made for our country and we DO appreciate them.
So, we are having a parade on NOV. 12 just for them. We want to invite them all to participate. We want our citizens and families of the Veterans to be able to stand on the sidelines, cheering them on waving flags and saying thank you as they ride past them in the parade.
The idea of the parade came about as a collaborative effort beginning with Columbus City Councilman Pops Barnes and Columbus and Phenix City Parks and Recreation. Pops is a Veteran. He has a background in healthcare and mental services. He walks his District daily in Columbus and talks to Veterans and helps them with their individual needs. Pops says that he hopes that this parade will grow to be the biggest one in the southeast. I believe that it can happen. We already have Ft. Benning vehicles and personnel, marching bands, motorcycle units, trucks and cars decorated in red, white and blue and homemade floats.
Each year, the number of participants increases as people learn about the parade and as more and more Veterans are realizing that this parade really is FOR THEM. Last year, the children at The Roy Martin Center made handmade signs for people to hold up at the parade that said what they felt about the Veterans. Some signs were painted, some were colored and some were just drawn with magic markers. They were beautiful messages to the Veterans who rode past them and read words such as: “THANK YOU” and “I AM PROUD OF YOU” and “MY MOMMIE WAS IN THE WAR TOO.” The children learned about Veterans and how to express their gratitude.
We too can express our gratitude in many ways. We can take time to stop and say thank you to them or we can sit and listen to their stories. Most of them have fascinating stories, some painful, some funny and some filled with history that will be lost if we don’t hear it
We can decorate our cars or trucks or make a float and ask the Veterans of our churches, businesses, or neighbors to ride if they don’t have a vehicle and driver of their own. They can participate individually or in groups. We can help get them there!
We can also support Veterans Organizations that help our Veterans with their everyday needs and special circumstances. We can volunteer for HOUSE OF HEROES or do benefits for WOUNDED WARRIORS. We can find a way to help them and show our appreciation.
Who Can Participate?
Veterans and their families, Dignitaries, Churches, businesses and civic groups who are providing vehicles for Veterans. Our parade audience is encouraged to bring signs, flags, wear red, white and blue and cheer our Veterans as the pass by.
What is the purpose of this parade?
To show our appreciation and raise awareness for the number of Veterans we have in the tri-city area and their needs.
When is it?
It is November 12th at 10:00 a.m.
Where is it?
The route begins in Phenix City on Colin Powell Parkway. (participants will need to line up by 8:30 a.m.) and continues down Broad Street in Phenix City, goes across the 13th Street bridge into Columbus ending on 9th Street in Columbus.
Please contact the Phenix City Parks and Recreation office at 334-291-4719 for more information or refer to Columbus Parks and Recreation website for more details and applications. www. Columbus Parks and Recreation.
Veterans who are interested in participating can get an application at The Phenix City Parks and Recreation Office located at 1500 Airport Road or at Columbus Parks and Recreation located in The Citizens Services Building on Macon Road or on line at
www.Columbus Parks and Recreation.
# # #