Veterans Day falls on Sunday but the City of Charleston is celebrating on Saturday with its annual parade. And this year it’s receiving national recognition.
This marks the 70th anniversary of the parade which first started back in 1942, shortly after the U.S. entered WWII.
“WWI veterans marched in support of the WWII effort, marching down Capitol Street just four, short months after Pearl Harbor,” said veteran Edward Converse, the organizer of the parade.
The Veterans Day National Committee announced earlier this year that the parade, one of the longest running in the country, would be one of only 62 regional sites for the observance of Veterans Day 2012.
The John Brawley Post No. 20 sponsors the event every year. Converse says the designation is a great honor and really makes this year’s parade special.
It steps off Saturday at 10am at the intersection of Leon Sullivan Way and Kanawha Blvd. The route heads north and makes a left at Quarrier Street. It makes another left at Goshorn and another at Kanawha Blvd. where the units will pass by the grandstand in front of Haddad Riverfront Park. That’s where a Veterans Day service will be held at 11am.
Converse says they’re seeing more and more interest every year in this parade.
“We’re getting support from what I would say is the younger crowd,” Converse said. “People that maybe three years ago we did not see in these celebrations.”
Converse says it’s wonderful to see the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts and Jr. ROTC from the high schools actively participating.
For once, the weather is expected to cooperate with unseasonably warm temperatures. Converse urges all of Charleston and surrounding areas to come out and support those in uniform.
“When you come out to the parade, you’re not only supporting the veterans,” Converse said. “You’re actually supporting those that are in combat and are currently on active duty.”