The 15th annual Veterans Day Parade will step off from the Williamson County Archives and Museum at Five Points after the bells from the Presbyterian Church ring on Friday, Veterans Day, Nov. 11 at 11 a.m.

The streets in downtown Franklin will be filled with people who want to show their support to all veterans. The parade of veterans, floats and school bands will head east on Main Street to the Public Square and turn onto Second Avenue North to Bridge Street and return to the Archives and Museum.

This year’s distinguished Grand Marshals, chosen by the Williamson County Veterans Affairs officer Anson Christian, include Tom Bain, US Army, Vietnam; Lt. Col. Williams B. Gilmore (Ret), US Air Force, Korea/Vietnam; Coyle Hazelwood, US Navy, World War II; Leo James, US Army, Korea; and Maj. Gen. Carl Schneider (Ret.), US Air Force, WWII, Korea, Cold War and Vietnam. 

The parade will feature bands from Williamson County high schools as well as middle school bands from Franklin Special and Williamson County schools. 

Floats, trailers and special vehicles will transport veterans from area American Legion and VFW posts and soldiers from Ft. Campbell will march the route, local businesses, churches and civic organizations will also parade through the streets in honor of our veterans.

Prior to the parade, veterans and their families are invited to a reception inside the Archives and Museum from 9 a.m. to about 10:45 a.m. to allow for the start of the parade.

Veterans Day was originally celebrated as Armistice Day, commemorating the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918 when a temporary cessation of hostilities between the Allied nations and Germany marked the unofficial end of World War I. The Treaty of Versailles on June 18, 1919 was the official end. 

The first commemoration was celebrated the following year on Nov. 11, 1919 with patriotic parades, public speeches and a pause in activities at 11 a.m. after which the festivities continued. It took another three years for the day to be officially observed and in 1938 it was made a national holiday.

After more than 16 million people served in World War II and another five million in the Korea war, in 1954 Congress amended the 1938 Act the made Armistice Day a holiday by striking the word Armistice and adding the word Veterans to honor all those who served to protect our nation. 

The Veterans Parade is produced by WAKM-AM 950.

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