Lawrence Veterans Day parade, scheduled for Nov. 9, to honor local veterans
photo by: Nick Krug
This year’s Veterans Day Parade in downtown Lawrence will include a military flyover, military vehicles and veterans from many eras, and parade organizers hope to see spectators lining the streets in support.
The Lawrence Veterans Day Association puts on the parade, and parade association vice chair Michelle Mailand said the whole purpose of the parade was to thank and honor local veterans.
“We’ve seen over the past decade or two a fall in patriotism and understanding why we have the life that we live and the ability to do the things that we do, whether it’s protesting or owning our own business or walking the streets whenever we choose,” Mailand said. “It’s thanks to those veterans who have fought for our rights and freedoms that allow us to have those opportunities.”
The parade will take place Nov. 9 in downtown Lawrence. The opening ceremony will begin at 10:30 a.m. at the intersection of Seventh and Massachusetts streets. The opening ceremony will include a bugler, vocalists, interfaith devotional and flag presentation. The parade will then proceed from the site of the ceremony to South Park beginning at 11 a.m.
Mailand said the parade would include veterans from all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, and veterans are invited to ride floats or walk in the parade. She said veterans from several eras of military conflicts and wars were expected to participate, from WWII to the present day.
This is the third year of the parade’s return after a lapse of close to 50 years, as the Journal-World previously reported.
“This is our third year of resurrecting the parade here in Lawrence, and we are open and invite any veteran to come participate,” Mailand said. “But we focus our efforts on Douglas County veterans in particular, and that encompasses all the communities around us.”
The parade will include a Gold Star Memorial float with the names of soldiers killed in action, Patriot Guard Riders, the American Legion and Daughters of the American Revolution. This year, Mailand said the Fort Leavenworth Buffalo Solider Chapter will also participate in the parade.
The Veterans of Foreign Wars will continue a decadeslong tradition by selling poppies to benefit veterans. The poppies are a remembrance of Flanders Field in Belgium, which is home to an American military cemetery and memorial and where the flowers have been known to grow.
Mailand said veterans interested in participating in the parade could find more information on the parade website, Lawrenceveteransday.org/.