After an overwhelming response last year, Mayor Greg Fischer has announced that the service and sacrifices of veterans and active duty military will again be honored with a Veteran’s Day parade and other activities in downtown Louisville, Sunday, Nov. 11.
The parade, which will feature military bands, active and retired veterans organizations, restored military vehicles, re-enactors and service organizations, will begin at 4th and Liberty Streets at 2 p.m. The procession will go north to Main St. then west, ending at 9th St. The parade will be led by a Joint Services Color Guard which will include members of all five branches of the armed services.
“I’ve heard from so many people who were thrilled and moved by last year’s parade which was the first in Louisville in many years, so I know we will have a huge turnout this Veteran’s Day,” Fischer said. “These veterans deserve our respect and thanks and I hope all Louisvillians will come out and help salute these brave men and women.”
Special bleacher seating is being installed for veterans and their families who aren’t able to walk the entire route. They will be invited to join the parade after the last unit and follow it to the end.
A musical program will start at 1:30 p.m. at 9th and Main. C-130 planes from the Kentucky Air National Guard will signal the beginning of the parade with a flyover.
At ceremonies following the parade, there will be special recognition of veteran’s and armed services groups including the Tuskegee Airmen, Montford Point Marines, Order of the Purple Heart and others. The “Ladies of Liberty” vocal group will also perform and vintage military vehicles will be on display.
The parade and related activities are presented by UAW Local 862 and Ford Motor Co.
A special display will be installed in front of the Frazier Museum Nov. 5 - 12 – Kentucky’s “40 et 8” boxcar, on loan from the Kentucky Railway Museum in New Haven. The boxcar was sent to Kentucky by people in France in 1949 in gratitude for America’s donation of food and life necessities in 1948; each state received a “40 et 8” car. Kentucky’s is one of 35 cars known to remain in existence. In connection with the display, volunteers will serve as docents to explain the “40 et 8” program and the car’s history.
The Museum on Nov. 11 will provide reduced admission to the public and free admission to veterans and active military members. A supply drive for the troops to collect “care packages” for military personnel serving overseas will also kick off that day at the Frazier.
Other attractions along Main Street’s “Museum Row”, including the Louisville Slugger Museum and Bat Factory and the Louisville Science Center, will offer special programs or discounted admission on Nov. 11.
All expenses of the Veterans Day Parade are underwritten by sponsorships, led by UAW Local 862 and Ford Louisville Assembly Plant. Other sponsors include: AAA of Kentucky, First Capital Bank of Kentucky, Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau, M&M Cartage Company, National Guard Association of Kentucky, VisionWorks LLC and Accent Marketing.
For the second year, the Veterans Day Parade is coordinated by an all-volunteer committee led by Wayne Hettinger, Treva Brockman and Dell Courtney. They and community representatives of local veterans and service organizations have worked for several months to develop this year's event based on the success of last year.