Did you know Veterans Day began as Armistice Day on Nov. 11, 1919?
It was to celebrate the first anniversary of the end of World War I. It wasn't until 1926 that Congress passed a resolution marking the annual observance on Nov. 11. Later it became a national holiday in 1938.
Veterans Day pays tribute to all American veterans, living or dead, but generally gives thanks to living veterans who served their country honorably during war or peacetime.
On Saturday, Nov. 11 the City of Mansfield, along with Mansfield Churches FOR THE CITY is joining forces with the American Legion, Post 624 and the Mansfield Independent School District to do just that, honor Veterans at the city's first-ever Veterans Day Parade.
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Scheduled participants for the parade include marching bands from Mansfield High School and Legacy High, as well as JROTC groups from all five MISD high schools. Other groups represented include the American Legion, all military branch local recruitment offices, Veteran's organizations, Mansfield ISD and the City of Mansfield, with Mayor David Cook, one of the project's first big supporters, serving as the Co-Grand Marshall.
The parade will begin at 10 a.m. at R.L. Anderson Stadium and make a loop traveling east on Magnolia to Wisteria Street and then south before turning onto east Broad Street. It will pass in front of the Public Safety Building and back to R.L. Anderson where an honorary salute will take place in the stands at 11:30 a.m. A concert of patriotic songs will be performed by the Legacy High School's marching band.
Sergeant First Class Daniel Kinnel, a twenty-year veteran working with Mansfield High School as Junior ROTC instructor, said he wanted to see an official ceremony honoring the national holiday in his hometown.
"Mansfield has a lot of residents who have served our country," Kinnel said. "I think the parade is going to help bring the city closer together; there are veterans working for the schools, the city, as first responders, for private companies and of course retired. This event is a way for them to all come together, share that common bond and see how much the city appreciates their service."
Mayor David Cook said the event is a chance to say "thank you" to all veterans for and families for what they have sacrificed.
"Actions and words may never be enough to repay what we owe our veterans," Cook said.
Joining Cook as the Co-Grand Marshall is Bill Beard, Chief Master Sergeant, retired from the U.S. Air Force.
"This is such a great honor," Beard - a native of Mansfield said. "I remembered when I enlisted, three of us were going in on the same day. The city limit sign read ‘Mansfield - population 773.’ "All these years later I would have never dreamed I would be involved in such an honor."
Lance Winter: 817-390-7274
If you go
Later that day, the Farr Best Theater in Historic Downtown Mansfield will be showing the classic film Top Gun; tickets are $3 and can be purchased at the door starting at 1:15 p.m. for the 2 p.m. showing.
For any questions, please contact Sergeant First Class Daniel Kinnel, 817-584-5997.