Reasons and Remarks – Maybe Next Year

Reprinted from PN/Paraplegia News November 2018

It would be an opportunity to reflect for a moment on the selfless dedication of our veterans and military.

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The military parade that almost was. Who doesn’t love a parade? It seems anything coming out of Washington, D.C., today must be branded controversial. When I first heard of the possibility of a military parade in our nation’s capital to coincide with Veterans Day, it conjured up fond memories of growing up in a small town in Minnesota. Every Memorial Day, the veterans service organizations and the local National Guard Armory marched in a parade down main street.

Our town didn’t have a parade on Veterans Day, no doubt since on Nov. 11 in Minnesota you probably had a foot of snow on the ground. The Memorial Day parade always included military vehicles of the time, as well as World War II, Korean War and Vietnam veterans donning their uniforms for a day of pride and remembrance. This is what came to mind when I thought of what a parade in D.C. might look like. It would be an opportunity to reflect for a moment on the selfless dedication of our veterans and military, while recognizing the service and sacrifice our veterans made so we might enjoy our freedoms. I didn’t conjure up visions of our military men and women goose-stepping down Pennsylvania Avenue like North Korean troops with tanks and missiles in an arrogant show of might, like some factions tried to plant in your psyche.  

Others cited the possible cost as being an extreme waste of resources. I could list several things this country spends money on that I would consider a bigger waste. I’d list them, but that would only ignite an unnecessary fire of controversy. I’m sure you don’t have to think too hard to come up with a few yourself, regardless of which side of the aisle you find yourself.  

Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) and its members have documented participation in parades throughout our organization’s history. This year is no exception, with many PVA members taking great pride in rolling down various parade routes under their chapter flag in towns across the country. Though relatively new, this year the city of Phoenix celebrates its 22nd annual Veterans Day Parade, which is now one of the four most-attended parades in the country. The Phoenix Veterans Day Parade mission statement says it all:

“To create an annual Veterans Day Parade to honor the contributions of our United States veterans and help build a patriotic Phoenix community spirit that recognizes the sacrifices veterans make for our country.”

How can you argue with that? I believe a parade in Washington, D.C., would have been a wonderful show of respect and appreciation consistent with the many parades taking place all across this great nation.


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Reasons and Remarks – Maybe Next Year


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