The ground and streets were still damp when participants in the Veterans Day Parade in Lake Dallas began their march down Main Street alongside large militarily vehicles in honor of U.S. veterans.
The rains Sunday stopped just in time for the Lake Dallas community to conduct the city’s first parade honoring veterans.
The event was to give the veterans a proper thank-you, which most of them did not get when their respective wars ended.
Between 200 and 300 people attended the parade, which ended at the Veterans Memorial at City Park, where a reception for the veterans followed.
The parade was an American Heritage Girls service project and the brainchild of 17-year-old Lydia Bishop, who said she felt a need to honor veterans in the area. The Lake Dallas City Council approved the teenager’s project during a council meeting in October.
Bishop is a member of American Heritage Girls Troop 191 in the Lake Cities area, and she’s also the granddaughter of a Vietnam veteran, the late Ronald McKoon.
“I just wanted a way to say thank you to all the veterans who fought to keep us safe and free,” she said, citing her grandfather as one of her reasons for organizing the parade.
During the event, a rendition of the “Star-Spangled Banner” was sung, the Texas and U.S. flags were hoisted and a special presentation honoring missing soldiers was performed.
Toward the end of the event, Bishop was honored by the Vietnam Veterans of America with a plaque, a bouquet of roses and a teddy bear for her patriotism and dedication to serving the community.
The Lake Dallas Veterans Day Parade honored all veterans with the open arms that most soldiers did not receive when they returned home from war, Bishop said.
According to city officials, Bishop has worked on the project for more than a year and has volunteered in several other city events.
The Vietnam War covered military conflicts in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia from 1955 to about 1975. The U.S. government entered the war to prevent a communist takeover of South Vietnam and other countries.
The war resulted in more than 58,000 U.S. service member deaths. During a speech to the audience, Bishop said she hopes the parade will continue each year to remember and thank those who fought for the country.
JOHN D. HARDEN can be reached at 940-566-6882. His e-mail address is email@example.com