Nov. 11 parade in Apache Junction to honor military veterans

 

The Apache Junction Veterans Day Parade will begin at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 11.

The Commemorative Air Force will perform a flyover to start the parade, committee member Dave Waldron said during a phone interview Oct. 29.

This year’s theme is Honoring Purple Heart Veterans, Mr. Waldron said. The grand marshal is Dr. Robert Dole. He is a World War II Purple Heart veteran. He entered the U.S. Army in August 1944 and eventually landed in France where he was with the 71st Infantry Regiment, 44th Division, 7th Army. He was wounded in the battle for Manheim, Germany, on March 29, 1945. He received several awards and medals in addition to the Purple Heart.

“A person receives a Purple Heart if he or she is wounded or killed in the line of duty, and we want to honor them and their sacrifice,” Mr. Waldron said.

The parade takes place along West Apache Trail. It begins at North Apache Trail/Phelps Drive and proceeds in the westbound lanes to Gold Drive, where participants will turn left and head back in the eastbound lanes of West Apache Trail to Phelps Drive.

The parade can be viewed from both sides of the road, Mr. Waldron said.

The parade route will close to traffic at 6 a.m.

Just prior to the start of the parade, at 9:15 a.m., the entries carrying American flags will gather at the Focal Point on the northwest corner of North Apache Trail/Phelps Drive and West Apache Trail for the Massing of the Colors ceremony of remembrance.

Participants in the parade include local veterans service clubs, motorcycle groups, car clubs, marching bands and equestrian associations.

For more information, e-mail AJVDParade@aol.com or call Mr. Waldron at 480-250-0944.

At 11 a.m., a ceremony honoring Veterans Day will be hosted by VFW No. 9399, 133 N. Saguaro Drive in Apache Trail. It is open to the public. A moment of silence will take place at 11:11 a.m., the moment the guns fell silent ending World War I.

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