BUCKHANNON – The annual Veterans Day Parade will march through Buckhannon this Saturday, followed by a special ceremony to take place on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.
Organizer Kathy Stalnaker said the parade lineup will start at 9:15 a.m. on Nov. 11 at the Gibson Library. The parade will begin at 10 a.m., with a ceremony at Jawbone Park at 11 a.m. Lunch will be available for veterans and their families at VFW Post 3663.
“There is a float for veterans who would like to be in the parade but are unable to walk,” Stalnaker said. “Both the West Virginia Wesleyan band and the Buckhannon-Upshur band will be marching, and the Daughters of the America Revolution will have a small float.”
Stalnaker said Buckhannon always manages to celebrate Veterans Day on the official holiday, which makes the day more impactful.
“The only time it wasn’t on Nov. 11 was during COVID, when they couldn’t have the parade at all,” Stalnaker said. “It’s the one time of the year we can truly get together and honor veterans, and our town has done a really good job of keeping it on Veterans Day, honoring the significance of the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. That is why the parade is at 10 a.m. and the ceremony is at 11 a.m.”
Sheriff Mike Coffman, VFW 3663 commander Bob Kincaid, commander of American Legion Post 7 Mike Wallace and Mayor Robbie Skinner will all speak during the ceremony at Jawbone Park.
“My husband served for 30 years. I began working for the VFW four or five years ago, and planning the parade just kind of fell into my lap,” Stalnaker said. “At that time, there wasn’t any organization to it. Someone told me, ‘We were just told to show up.’ I would never turn anybody away, but there was never any organization or coordination, even between the military organizations. I didn’t have the privilege of serving my country — my husband served for 30 years — so this is how I give back.”