As Veterans Day approaches, local organizations, businesses and community members prepare for the annual Veterans Day Parade on Muskogee Avenue in Tahlequah.
Each year the parade begins on Goingsnake Street, runs through Main Street and ends on Chickasaw Street. The procession starts on November 11th at 11am. There will be a quiet zone for families with sensory needs, from Goingsnake to Town Branch Creek. As soon as the parade reaches Norris Park, music and sirens begin.
A wreath-laying ceremony will take place in Cherokee Square in downtown Tahlequah prior to the parade. Various service organizations will participate and the public is invited to attend the ceremony.
“At 9:30 am, the American Legion Post 50 Auxiliary will serve coffee and something like donuts or cookies to the people who are there to lay wreaths,” said Jacki Christie, secretary of Cherokee County’s Veterans Council.
The Grand Marshal for this year’s parade is retired Army Master Sgt. Harold Ogden, who served 21 years and served five times. He served in West Germany, South Korea, Turkey, and South Vietnam. During his stationing in Phu Bai, Vietnam, he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal and the Vietnam Service Medal.
“Harold is a tenured member of the American Legion Post 50, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3707, Disabled American Veterans Chapter 31, and the Cherokee County Veterans Council,” said Christie. “He meets regularly with the Military Order of the Purple Heart Chapter 641 and worked with them on the construction and completion of the Purple Heart / Veterans Memorial here in Tahlequah. Everyone is encouraged to visit the memorial and spend some time thinking about it. “
At 11:30 am, Northeastern State University will unveil its Veterans Monument and plazas on the east side of Seminary Hall.
The VFW will feed veterans at lunchtime for free. The organization at 128 E. Choctaw St. serves chili, beans, cornbread, and desserts. For non-veterans, it costs $ 5. Whole cakes will be put up for sale and there will be a silent auction.
Those interested in attending the parade should email Christie at [email protected] The last day of participation is November 8th and participation is free.