Home News Local News Vets Day parade set for Saturday

Vets Day parade set for Saturday

Alex Ross Photo From the left Mark Rowland, chaplain for American Legion Post 28 and Stephen Lee, finance director for the post discuss this Saturday's Veterans's Day parade and celebration at a meeting Monday at American Legion Headquarters. The celebration will start at 9 a.m. Saturday with a ceremony in front of the Chaves County Court House, before a parade at 9:30 a.m.

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Residents of Chaves County will observe the sacrifices and service of military members this year with a celebration and Veterans Day Parade in downtown Roswell Saturday morning.

This year will mark the first time that American Legion Post 28 will organize the parade.

A ceremony to honor Veterans will start at 9 a.m. at the Veteran’s Memorial in the front of the Chaves County Courthouse, Mark Rowland, chaplain of American Legion Post 28 said after a Monday night meeting about the parade.

Brigadier General Douglas Murray, dean of academics at the New Mexico Military Institute, will be the featured speaker and will talk about what it means to be a veteran and why someone might be interested in joining the military, Rowland said.

The Girl Scouts will also lead the crowd in saying the Pledge of Allegiance and Tom Blake, a local singer, will lead them in a rendition of the national anthem.

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The name of local service members who died in World War I will be read aloud and this will coincide with wreaths being laid for members of the U.S. Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and Merchant Marines.

Rowland added that special wreaths will be laid for prisoners of war and members of the military who went missing, a Purple Heart wreath for those wounded and the Daughters of the American Legion will lay their own wreath.

The Silver Taps will play after the reading of names and wreath layings, followed by a release of doves.

“That will be the signal for the start of the parade,” said Stephen Lee, finance officer for Post 28.

Parade participants will then make their way from Main and Fourth Streets north along Main Street before heading to Stapp Field at NMMI for the NMMI Regimental Parade.

This year’s parade theme will be “From Flanders Field to Stapp Field” a nod to the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice ending the First World War.

Lee added that this year’s parade also coincides with the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Legion.

In this year’s parade a total of 27 floats were entered as of Monday by organizations and area businesses, but Lee said there will likely be about 29.

This year will mark the first time area businesses are allowed to enter floats into the parade on the condition the floats recognize a veteran either in design, signage or on the float.

Members of the Mew Mexico National Guard will be taking part in the parade. The parade will be led by members of the Youth ChalleNGe Academy honor guard, which will be followed by a garrison flag and then Murray in a vehicle followed by some area World War II veterans.

Other vehicles will include a military jeep from 1945, a 2019 red corvette donated by Desert Sun, a dealership in Roswell.

Rowland added that Roswell Ford in conjunction with the Roswell Chamber of Commerce are looking to contribute a Mustang to be used in the parade.

Lee added that the Legion has hoped to get some school bands involved in the parade but so far have been unsuccessful.

Before the parade, the Military Science Department of the New Mexico Military Institute will have their 4th Annual BRAVE 5K Run.

People can start showing up at 6:45 a.m. at the Berkshire-Hathaway Parking lot at 501 North Main Street for late registration.

Runners will line up at the starting line on at 4th and Main Streets at 7:30 a.m., according to Active.com, a website where people can sign up to take part in the race.