Enterprise begins buildup to parade honoring “Heroes Past and Present”

Veterans Parade Committee members include, standing from left, Lt. Col. (R) George Clark, CW5 (R) James Rathburn, Tom Ferguson,, Buddy Keen; seated from left, Adele Hawkins, Irene Brittin, Nancy Rathburn and Kay Kirkland
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ENTERPRISE, Ala. (PR) — The City of Enterprise joins the Enterprise Veterans Parade Committee in encouraging everyone to honor “Heroes Past and Present” in the coming weeks as Veterans Day approaches.

The Enterprise Veterans Parade Committee, made up of representatives of various veterans organizations in the community, is planning the annual Veterans Parade for 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 9 on Main Street. A Veterans Tribute Ceremony will take place at 7 p.m. at the Enterprise Farmers Market. The Veteran of the Year, Active Service Member of the Year and nominees will be honored at the ceremony.
A traditional wreath-laying ceremony will be conducted at the Wall of Freedom, at the entrance of the Enterprise Recreational Complex, on Wednesday afternoon, Nov. 8. The time will be announced at a later date.

“We hold those who have served and those who are still serving close to our hearts every day here in Enterprise,” said Mayor William E. “Bill” Cooper. “Veterans and active duty service members and their families make up a significant part of our city’s population and provide countless hours of service to our community in a variety of ways.”

Enterprise is a particularly patriotic city, Cooper said, adding, “we are fortunate to have veterans and active duty personnel in our midst, enriching our community with their time, talents, knowledge and service.”

The Mayor said everyone should be thankful to veterans and current military members every day of the year, but he is looking forward to the days surrounding the Nov. 11 holiday when Enterprise sets aside a special time to show gratitude and much-deserved thanks.
The theme of this year’s parade is “Heroes Past and Present,” and all veterans are encouraged to participate in some way.

“This is a time to honor our veterans in particular. They are still and will always be our heroes,” Cooper said. “We know there are many of you out there who have served and are still serving. Please come and participate in the parade and ceremonies. Give us the opportunity to thank you for your service and sacrifice, both to the nation and the community.”

Registration forms for the parade are available on the city website at www.enterprise al.com or from any Veterans Parade Committee member. Members have been meeting for several months planning the event. Current members are Chief Warrant Officer 5 (R) James R. “Jim” Rathburn, representing VFW Post 6683; Nancy Rathburn, VFW Post 6683 Auxiliary; Buddy Keen, American Legion Post 73; Tom Ferguson, Disabled American Veterans Chapter 9; Robert Green, Military Order of the Purple Heart Chapter 2216; Lt. Col. (R) George Clark, Enterprise High School JROTC; Command Sgt. Maj. James W. Coquat, 1st Battalion 212th Aviation Regiment, Fort Rucker; Adele Hawkins and Irene Brittin of Team Red White and Blue; and City of Enterprise Special Projects Coordinator Kay Kirkland.

The deadline to enter the parade is at noon Nov. 6. Committee Chairman Rathburn invited all veterans in Enterprise and surrounding communities to ride in the parade. Businesses, organizations, churches and individuals are encouraged to provide a ride in the parade for veterans and active duty service members and show support for the nation’s heroes and those of the local community.

“In our community, almost everyone knows a veteran or active duty service member,” Cooper said. “Offer to drive them and provide a means for them to be honored. For the World War II, Korean and Vietnam veterans, it’s important that we get to show our gratitude.”
Grand marshals will be the Veteran and Service Member of the Year, which will be selected based on nominations from the public. All civic organizations and veterans and military organizations, churches, etc., are encouraged to submit nominations. Nomination forms are also available on the city website or from any member of the Veterans Parade Committee.

Rathburn said more details will be available later about the veterans tribute events.

For more information, call Kay Kirkland, City of Enterprise Special Projects coordinator, at 334-348-2310 or -334-406-1394, or email her at kkirkland@enterpriseal.gov.