Veterans Day celebrations set for Saturday
A parade and presentation honoring the area's veterans will be held Saturday morning in Charleston.
The parade is being held over the weekend because the city was selected in September as a regional site for the national observance of Veterans Day.
Parade organizer Ed Converse said the city was chosen because the parade is one of the longest running in the state and has had a large number of participants in the past. The city is one of 62 nationally designated sites.
Charleston's Veterans Day parade began in April 1942 when World War I veterans, members of the American Legion's John Brawley Post 20, marched up Capitol Street in support of soldiers, sailors and airmen heading off to fight in World War II, said Converse, the commander of John Brawley Post 20.
The parade now features veterans groups, marching bands, corporations and other civic organizations. Each parade also tries to encompass a theme.
In the past the parade has celebrated "Rosie the Riveters," women who left the home to work in factories during World War II. The veterans of World War II also have been honored in the past.
This year's theme is the Korean War, as the 60th anniversary of the ceasefire approaches.
This year the Winfield American Legion Post 187 will serve as color guard and Capital High School's marching band will perform the "Star Spangled Banner" and "God Bless America."
The featured speaker for a celebration at Haddad Riverfront Park immediately following the parade is Navy Cmdr. Adam D. Palmer, commander of the USS West Virginia.
Palmer was named commander of the nuclear-powered submarine last year. He will speak about the first USS West Virginia, a battleship that was sunk at Pearl Harbor but later rebuilt to continue the fight in the Pacific during World War II.
Neil White, a professional Toby Keith impersonator, also will perform during the celebration.
Participants should begin lining up on Kanawha Boulevard near Leon Sullivan Way at 9:15 a.m. Saturday. The parade will begin at 10 a.m.
The parade will travel north on Leon Sullivan Way, then turn left on Quarrier Street and continue west to Truslow Street. The parade will turn left on Truslow to Kanawha Boulevard, where participants will disband near Capitol Street at Haddad Riverfront Park.
Contact writer Ashley B. Craig at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-348-4850.