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Veterans Day events scheduled

By ALLISON MILES
Nov. 6, 2013 at 5:06 a.m.


If you Go:

What: Veterans Day parade

When: 10 a.m. Monday

Where: Downtown Victoria

Last year's Veterans Day festivities brought marching bands, military organizations, patriotic citizens and the like together in Victoria to celebrate those who fought for the nation's freedom.

And once it all ended, the Victoria County Veterans Council knew exactly what came next.

Namely: planning for this year's event.

"It just continues on again," said Melvin Lockhart, co-chairman of Victoria's Veterans Day parade. "We get a small break, but then it's on to the Memorial Day parade and planning for the next Veterans Day. It doesn't stop."

The veterans council Monday will sponsor several events to honor the Crossroads' past and present military personnel.

Monday kicks off with a cemetery flag ceremony on the Victoria County Courthouse steps, 115 N. Bridge St.

The event includes a blessing of the flags, as well as the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance and singing of the national anthem, according to an event program.

Teams of veterans will then post the flags at 32 cemeteries throughout Victoria County.

The parade follows at 10 a.m., said Peter Riesz, parade co-chairman and treasurer of the veterans council. The parade kicks off at the Victoria Public Library and runs down Main Street, through Church Street and up Bridge Street, he said, before ending at the courthouse.

A ceremony, which includes the laying of memorial wreaths, patriotic songs and more, follows on the courthouse steps, Riesz said. This year's keynote speaker is Lazaro O. Camarillo III, with the United Vietnam Veterans of Texas.

Riesz said he enjoys the chance to recognize area military personnel.

"They've earned that right to be recognized," he said. "And we want to give people a chance to honor those people who have served."

Lockhart, too, said he saw the day's events as a good way to not only recognize military heroes but also to get Victoria involved. And it couldn't come together without the help of many organizations and people behind the scenes.

"It's all about giving back to the community," he said. "It's something the kids can enjoy, and the parents can be there to honor the vets."

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