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November 11, 2012

Veterans Day parade unites community

DUNCAN — Various veteran and service organizations joined forces to bring a Veterans Day parade to Duncan.

The parade, which was headed by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1192, rounded Downtown Duncan, between 11th and Seventh streets, on Saturday. The parade was held in conjunction with Veterans Day to honor all veterans, not only those who have given their lives to protect American freedoms.

The parade featured participation from groups from the VFW, the American Legion Post 55, VFW Women’s Auxiliary, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Blue Star Mothers, the Fort Sill Half Section, various other veteran organizations, Duncan High School Band, Empire High School Band, and various political and military individuals.

Daniel Leal, member of the VFW and parade chairman, was impressed by the participation in this year’s parade. Leal said this showed how many people wanted to show their support for and honor of the veterans.

“It’s great,” Leal said.

At one point, things came to a halt to allow for the performance of “TAPS,” a military song that recognizes deceased veterans. Throughout the crowd and in the parade itself, veterans saluted the American flag and various citizens placed their right hands on their chest, while the song played.

Aside from the music, all else was silent.

Although the “TAPS” performance was aimed at getting people to remember fallen veterans, the rest of the parade sought to honor people who have served and to thank them for ensuring American freedom.

Sgt. Tommy Howell was the masters of ceremony for the parade. Howell thanked each participating group for taking part in honoring the veterans. Like Leal, Howell was impressed with the participation and turnout.

Following the parade, participants were invited back to the VFW and were served lunch.

Howell was appreciative of everyone participating because it shows the importance of the holiday. He was also appreciative of people who took time out of their Saturday morning to attend the parade.

Among the spectators was Vietnam veteran Jim Bailey. Bailey said the parade was well done and was glad the weather cooperated for the parade.

“It’s good,” Bailey said. “The weather’s good, expect it’s a little windy.”

He said the parade had a great meaning for him and for other veterans because it helped to remind people of what Veterans Day is all about.

“I think it’s great,” Bailey said. “Americans needs to remember.”

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