Clarksville, TN – Perfect weather brought thousands to the streets of downtown for this year’s Veterans Day Parade in Clarksville.
Hundreds were gathered outside the courthouse for a pre-parade program that began at 9:00am, at which Colonel Vernon Lightner US Army (Retired), was this year’s Guest Speaker. Lightner is currently the Director of Army Instruction for the Clarksville-Montgomery County School System.
Music was performed by the Clarksville High School Carnival & Encore Choirs, under the direction of Stella McKnight. The program began with a posting of colors by the 555th Parachute Infantry Association – Elester Garner Chapter Color Guard, a performance of the National Anthem, and an invocation by MSG (Retired) Reverend Dorance Powell, Pastor of Mt. Zion Baptist Church.
This year’s ceremony also included the presentation of an Honor and Remember Flag to the family of SSG Nathan Mudd, from Charlotte Ball of the Tennessee Chapter of Honor and Remember.
The ceremony concluded with a laying of the wreath in honor of America’s Veterans, by Mayor Pitts and Durrett, along with Col. Lightner, followed by the playing of Taps by Angela Christian of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office.
The parade began at 10:00am, and lasted well over an hour. More than one hundred entries wound their way through the streets of downtown, from Austin Peay State University (APSU), past the courthouse, and back to APSU.
Several car clubs, motorcycle groups, Scout troops, and others joined with marching bands, JROTC units, and various other organizations to create an impressive seventy-five minutes of entertainment.
Among the crowd’s favorites, this year were the Clarksville Shrine Club, a variety of pageant winners, including Miss Queen City, Noelle Thompson, and Miss Austin Peay, Taylor Irons, 90-year-old Korean War Veteran. SSG Fay Elrod, and the always-appreciated display of modern machinery provided by the military and first responder groups.