“This day is specially set aside by a grateful America to honor its nation’s military heroes and all those who serve now and have served our country in the armed forces, here at home and abroad, in war and peacetime,” noted retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Jim D. Henderson, coordinator and master of ceremonies. He added, “Freedom is never free, and this day honors those who know this very well in terms of sacrifice, time and sometimes even the dearest things one cherishes.”
Activities for Wilson County and communities will get underway in Lebanon at 10:30 a.m. at the corner of South Hatton Avenue and West Main Street as the annual parade begins. It is expected to be one of the largest ever held in Lebanon on this day. The parade will travel to the Square and continue up East Main to the Wilson County Courthouse where the ceremony will be held at 11 a.m., concluding in approximately an hour with a 21-gun salute and playing of Taps.
Restored and preserved military vehicles, grand marshals, Gold Star Mothers, color guards, bands,
veterans organizations, JROTC units, emergency providers and equipment, active services and many others will parade up West Main Street, around the Square and East Main Street in front of a crowd of waving, applauding and appreciative persons of all ages who line the parade route.
All veterans are very much encouraged to attend with their families and participate by marching with other vets or riding and fellowshipping with others. Transportation will be provided for them and their families back to their parked vehicles at the library after the event.
Grand Marshals for the parade this year are Army Capt. (Dr.) H. Bert Coble and Pfc. Paul Curtis. Both are veterans of World War II in which Curtis was a prisoner of war. Coble was also a combat veteran of the Korean War and a former tank commander.
Coble is the principal speaker at the ceremony beginning at 11. He is a noted lifelong educator serving as music director and professor at Cumberland University, and founded and toured with an international and national choral group, The Bert Coble Singers. This year is especially notable for him as he recently celebrated his 90th birthday, and this is the 60th anniversary of the end of the Korean War.
Veterans Day is co-sponsored locally by American Legion Post 15 and the City of Lebanon.