This is believed to be the first Veterans Parade held locally in recent decades and is being spearheaded by local residents Terry Tolar, a veteran of Desert Storm, and J.W. Jacobs, a Vietnam veteran, who are members of the Parade Planning Committee which also includes other veterans and community members.
Parade lineup will begin at 8:30 a.m. at First Baptist Church parking lot with the parade starting at 10.
At 11 a.m. the veterans will be honored with a luncheon in the Old Booneville Hardware Building provided by Tony Smith of Booneville Community Pharmacy. Parking for veterans after the parade will be designated in the parking lot next to First Baptist fellowship hall to provide easy access to the luncheon. All veterans are invited to attend the luncheon.
All veterans, first responders, firemen and law enforcement officials have a special invitation to participate in the parade.
Churches, civic organizations, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, schools and businesses are invited to make a float, decorate a truck, ride golf carts, four wheelers, side by side utility vehicles or horses and come out and support the veterans.
Organizers hope to see the downtown streets lined with citizens cheering and showing support for the veterans. The parade route will be Church Street (from First Baptist parking lot) to College Street, to First Street, turning on State Street and back to First Baptist Church parking lot.
The national anthem will be sung by Asya Branch. Speakers will include Booneville Mayor Chris Lindley, State Representative Tracy Arnold, Mississippi Miss Hospitality Emma Grace McGrew of Booneville, and World War II veteran Brad Freeman of Caledonia who served in the 101st Airborne Division, parachuting behind enemy lines into France on D-Day. The 101st Airborne was written about in the 2001 bestselling book “Band of Brothers” by historian Stephen E. Ambrose and also presented in the HBO miniseries of the same name. Freeman is a friend of Booneville resident Chip Worley.
A Missing Man Table will be set up at the luncheon. Names will be read of local veterans killed in wars listed on the memorial on court square.