Veterans Day Parade to march back into Buckhannon after 2020 hiatus

BUCKHANNON – The Buckhannon Veterans Day parade is back after a hiatus last year, due to COVID-19.

Kathy Stalnaker, administrative assistant for the Buckhannon VFW Post 3663, said the parade is set for 9 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 11, Veterans Day. The parade will travel down Main Street to South Kanawha and end at Jawbone Park with a brief ceremony.

“The parade starts at 9 a.m., and we’re going to start lining up at 8:30 a.m.,” Stalnaker said. “Any veteran who wishes to walk in the parade is welcome if they show up at 8:30 a.m. They don’t have to be a member of the VFW or the American Legion to participate in the parade; they can walk or there will also be a decorated trailer they can ride in if they have trouble walking or anything like that.”

The ceremony at the park will feature a performance from the Buckhannon-Upshur High School Marching Band and Buckhannon mayor Robbie Skinner will speak. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., all veterans and their families are invited to the VFW post to enjoy a free meal.

“My husband is a veteran, and we served for 30 years and medically retired in 2013,” Stalnaker said. “I feel like it’s very difficult to teach the respect and honor for veterans in the school system and in families these days, so it’s important to put them before the public so people will always remember to honor them or that they deserve to be honored.”

“They made sacrifices with their families and themselves to serve,” she added.

Stalnaker also hopes events like these will encourage other veterans to join the American Legion Post 7 or the VFW.

“In the past the VFW would organize the parade and another year, the American Legion would do it and they would go back and forth like that, but both organizations are suffering for memberships,” Stalnaker said. “A lot of our members are getting older. My husband is one of the youngest, and he’s 65, and with that comes a lack of interest or even a lack of ability to participate in the events or the organization, so we decided the American Legion and the VFW would do it together.”

Previously known as Armistice Day, Veterans Day is celebrated annually on Nov. 11, the anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I in 1918. Veterans Day pays tribute to all U.S. military veterans, while Memorial Day in May commemorates the fallen, prisoners of war or soldiers missing in action.

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