- Monday, 21 October 2019
- Written by Jenna Shackelford
The Cumberland County Veterans Council is sponsoring the Fayetteville Veterans Day parade this year on Nov. 9 at 10 a.m. in downtown Fayetteville.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2018, 8-9.9% of the adult population of North Carolina was made up of veterans. Across the nation, and especially in a town so near to Fort Bragg, honoring the sacrifice of military service members is important.
This year, the parade’s theme is “Celebrating Gold Star Families.” “(For themes,) we’ve done female veterans, we’ve done gold star mothers, we’ve honored our veterans and thought it was time we honored the families,” said Penny Cacoulidis, president of the Cumberland County Veterans Council and the parade director.
“A gold star family is one that has lost a loved one, be it a father, a mother, a brother, sister, son, aunt or uncle — a family that has lost a loved one due to protecting this nation and our freedom,” she explained.
Although the theme is centered around gold star families, the event honors all veterans. The Council plans the event, but hosting an event like this one in Fayetteville requires help beyond what the Council alone can do. With the help of the city of Fayetteville, several Cumberland County departments and an abundance of volunteers, veterans can be honored at the ceremony. More volunteers are still needed for the event.
The grand marshall of the parade will be a gold star mother. The people walking in the parade will represent 114 organizations. These groups include Sons of the Revolution, bike organizations and high school bands and more.
Businesses will not advertise in the parade so as to keep the focus on the veterans.
“They are all veterans organizations,” Cacoulidis explained.
Established in 1919 and originally called Armistice Day, Veterans Day was started by President Wilson to honor soldiers who died while serving their country. Wilson said, “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations.”
Cacoulidis urged, “It’s time we go out and say to our nation, ‘The strength veterans showed by joining the military, whether they were called up in the draft or they joined out of their own will — they do it to support our nation.’”
Heroes Homecoming will host a variety of events that weekend.
“We’re attempting through the council to do a sponsorship for the Gold Star Dinner which will be on October 8. We are hoping to get the sponsorships that we are needing,” Cacoulidis said.
Volunteers are going to go through the crowds and pass out signs that say “thank you” that people can hold.
The parade route begins at the intersection of Hay Street where Bragg Boulevard and Robeson Street meet, by the U.S. Army Airborne & Special Operations Museum, and proceeds down Hay Street around the Market House, and ends on Cool Spring Street.
For more information on the Veterans Day Parade, visit the website at http://www.fayveteransdayparade.com/ or call Penny Cacoulidis at 910-200-7242.