Locals will get the chance to honor military veterans Saturday, Nov. 9, when American Legion Post 28 hosts a Veteran’s Day parade and celebration.
Mark Rowland, chaplain for the American Legion District 6, said parade participants will meet up at the Wool Bowl on Grand Avenue at 8:30 a.m. to “muster up.” The parade will start at 9 a.m.
Rowland said the parade will run south on Grand Avenue before turning west onto East College Boulevard. The parade will then turn left onto South Main Street. The parade will conclude at Fifth and Main streets near the Veteran’s Memorial on the Chaves County Courthouse lawn.
Stephen Lee, finance officer for Post 28, said the theme of this year’s parade will be “Keep’ Em Flying,” meant to highlight the role Roswell played in World War II in supplying bombers to allied forces.
“We wanted a Roswellian connection because of all the bombers and stuff we supplied, especially to the European Theater,” Lee said.
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Rowland said the celebration will follow the parade, kicking off shortly before 10 a.m. with a posting of the colors by the New Mexico Youth ChalleNGe Color Guard.
Tom Blake, a local singer, will perform the National Anthem. Boy Scout Troop 149 will lead the crowd in recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.
Rowland, an Air Force veteran and chaplain for American Legion District 6, will perform an invocation. Michael Trujillo, Post 28 commander, will give opening remarks.
Douglas Murray, retired Brigadier General and Dean of Academics at the New Mexico Military Institute, will be the celebration’s featured speaker.
Murray’s speech will be followed by a recognition of Sally Byrne, a former organizer of the parade, Rowland said. A wreath-laying will also take place, with the NMMI Bugle Corp performing a rendition of Silver Taps.
A “release of doves” will happen on Pioneer Plaza across from the Veterans Memorial. Military veterans and their families will be invited to release dove-shaped balloons with messages attached to them. The release is meant to draw attention to the pressing issues of suicide among veterans and post-traumatic stress disorder — also known as PTSD, Rowland said.
The celebration will end with a benediction by John Stites, performed by a chaplain with the Sons of the American Legion Squadron 28.
Lee said applications for parade entries will continue to be accepted up through this Saturday. Parade entries will be required to pay a $5 fee with proceeds going to help local veterans.
Parade applications can be dropped off at the Roswell Adult Center at 807 N. Missouri Ave. or by contacting Lee at 575-500-2672.
Before the parade, people can also show their support for veterans by taking part in the 2019 B.R.A.V.E. 5K Run, hosted by the Department of Military Science at NMMI.
Runners will line up at the starting line on Fourth and Main streets at 7:30 a.m. before heading north on Main. The route then turns East onto College Boulevard and continues before turning onto Grand Avenue. Runners will then head back upon reaching 19th Street.
People can sign up for the B.R.AV.E. 5K by visiting https://www.active.com/roswell-nm/running/distance-running-races/b-r-a-v-e-5k-2019. They can also sign up the day of the event between 6:30 and 7:15 a.m. at the intersection of Fourth and Main streets.
The cost to take part in the race is $15 per individual with all proceeds going to Homes for Heroes of Chaves County, according to Barbara Gomez, event coordinator of the B.R.A.V.E. 5K.
Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at email@example.com.