Clarksville, TN – The local community gathered throughout Historic Downtown Clarksville on a chilly Saturday morning to remember our Veterans! The Veterans Day Parade is an annual tradition in our city. This year it was bigger and better than ever.Part of the reason was the combining of the Austin Peay State University homecoming parade, with the annual veterans celebration resulting in one of the longest Veterans Day parades this city ever seen. “I know that we have probably more entries in this year’s parade then I think we’ve ever had. So that’s a big plus!” said Stacy Hopwood, the assistant director of the Montgomery County Veterans Service Organization.
Hopwood commented on the chill in the air by saying, “It’s a little chilly out but what’s a Veterans Day parade without a little nip in the air.”
She continued, “Well we had a very nice pre-parade ceremony. We had Brig. Gen. Stammer from Fort Campbell give some remarks, as well as Clarksville Mayor Pro Tem James Lewis, and Montgomery County Mayor Jim Durrett.”
Speaking about the meaning of Veterans Day, Hopwood said, “I think it’s really important to remember that Veterans Day is intended to celebrate and honor our living veterans, as opposed to Memorial day which is intended more to honor those who died in service. Veterans Day is our way of expressing gratitude to the men and women who raise their right hand and swore that oath to defend our Constitution, and who have fought or been willing to fight for the principles an ideals that make our nation what it is.”
Frank Mir, the director of the Montgomery County Veterans Service Organization agreed, “Today is a very special day! Today is a day that we remember why we are free. Today is also special because we are joining forces with the Austin Peay State University Homecoming Festivities. So the parade is even bigger with 136 entries! That shows just how much this community cares for its veterans, and that they understand that without the sacrifice by those veterans we as a country would not be here.”
Other than a few large gaps, the parade was impressive with representatives from local civic organizations, area businesses, and schools. You can see for yourself in the photo gallery that follows the story.