It was exciting to have Johnson County’s Veterans Day ceremony in Gardner on Nov. 11. However, we were disappointed in a decision to cancel a scheduled parade in conjunction with the event.
The approximate block long parade was to take place prior to a formal presentation. The event did feature a key note address from Lt. Col. Carla Hale, commander of the 169th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion; remarks from U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran, and a ceremony placing wreaths to commemorate a variety of veteran organizations including the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion and Gold Star Families.
It was a lovely event without the parade, but canceling a publicized parade for veterans because of weather was a letdown.
Veterans Day is a day set aside each year to recognize those who served in the U.S. Armed Forces. It differs from Memorial Day, in part, because living veterans are honored during the holiday.
Many of the veterans who attended Veterans Day frigid ceremonies did their military service in conditions far more challenging than what we say on Tuesday. If the parade was canceled out of concerns for older veterans, they served previously no matter what the weather. If the concern was for band students and attendees, their comfort should not have mattered during a day set aside to honor those willing to give up their lives for this country.
Hosting a parade alongside the county ceremony is atypical. The last county-sponsored Veterans Day parade was in 2009. It’s disappointing that the publicized parade was cast aside due to a cold air.