Johnstown will have a parade on Veterans Day to honor the stars and stripes.
It isn’t a Veterans Day parade per se, but it will be all about the American flag, said Preston Hale, commander of American Legion Post 254.
The parade will step off at 11 a.m. Nov. 11 from Johnstown-Monroe High School, 401 S. Oregon St., and proceed to Bigelow Square.
Hale said Post 254 decided to do something about the apparent lack of understanding of what the flag represents.
The “Respect the Flag” parade is open to all citizens and groups, churches, civic organizations, sports teams and bands, he said.
“American Legion Post 254 is responding to a sense of patriotic urgency by promoting a ‘Respect the Flag’ parade, showing that our community are members of the America national family of patriots wanting the best for America,” said Barry Dunn, a member of the post. “This parade endeavors to integrate all levels of community to foster Americanism that reflects justice, decency, belief in God, patriotism and loyalty for the benefit of community and America.”
He said the parade is a gift to the community as an outward sign that freedom and liberty are not automatic, but they must be maintained.
Dunn said the post subscribes to the idea that the act of respecting the flag patriotically unifies the American family despite any internal differences.
“Such an annual parade helps to focus on core values of God, duty (and) honor to be passed on to our descendants as America’s heritage has been passed on to us for 241 years,” he said.
Residents who would like to participate will be given a flag to carry. Call Hale at 614-452-1894 by Oct. 28 to request a flag.
For those who would like to drive a vehicle, wagon, tractor, car or truck, an entry form is on the American Legion Post 254 website at www.Alpost254.org. Go to “moments and memories” for the information.
At noon Nov. 11, a ceremony will be held at Bigelow Square, with the Northridge High School marching band playing the “Star-Spangled Banner.” Other performers will sing.
Hale said a brief presentation about the flag and its meaning would follow.
The ceremony concludes with a three-round rifle volley and taps.
A free lunch will follow at the post, 180 W. Maple St., Johnstown.
At 1 p.m., a dedication of the “Four Pillars of Service” addition at the post will be held.
After that ceremony, the Military Order of the Purple Heart will present a Purple Heart Medal posthumously to William Cohen.
As a young man in the Korean War, Cohen was wounded and captured.
He died while in a POW camp, and his remains were lost until last year, when he was returned home and buried in Fredonia.
One of Cohen’s great-nephews, John Reinard, is a member of the Sons of Legion at Post 254.
At 2 p.m. will be a flag-retirement ceremony in which the community is invited to participate.
Boy Scout Troop 4020 will be present to play the echoing taps at the close of the ceremony.
“This day’s events will prove to be educational and memorable for both the young and the old,” Hale said. “Come join in on the activities, respect the flag and show you’re proud to be an American.”