Kentucky Air Guard kicks off Louisville Veterans Day Parade
By Maj. Dale Greer, 123rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs
/ Published December 31, 2011
LOUISVILLE, KY. -- Thousands of spectators lined Main Street here today to show their support for military service members during Louisville's first Veterans Day parade in more than a half-century.
The parade kicked off with a three-ship flyover of Kentucky Air National Guard C-130s at 11:11 a.m. -- the exact time in 1918 when the Armistice took effect ending World War I.
The event featured dozens of color guards representing every branch of the U.S. military, numerous veterans' groups and a variety of government agencies like the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, according to retired Maj. Gen. Carl Black, a former Kentucky Air National Guard commander who lead the committee in charge of organizing the parade.
"This truly is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to pay tribute to American veterans and ... members of the armed services," he said. "11:11 a.m. on the 11th day of the 11th month of 2011 won't happen again."
A joint-service color guard, comprised of members from each branch of the U.S. armed services, led the procession down Main Street under a hail of red, white and blue confetti.
The detail included an active-duty Navy member from the Louisville area, as well as three Soldiers from the Kentucky Army National Guard. Rounding out the cadre were two Marine Corps cadets from the Jeffersontown High School Junior ROTC detachment and an Air Force flag-bearer from the Kentucky Air Guard's 123rd Airlift Wing, which organized the joint detail.
The parade also featured the 113th Army Band from Fort Knox, Ky., and restored military equipment courtesy of the KILROY and 14th Armored Preservation Groups.
"This special observance is the least we can do to honor the dedication and service that our military veterans have made and continue to make every day," said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, who noted that this was believed to be the first Veterans Day parade in Louisville since the end of World War II.
The Mayor's Office estimated that 8,000 to 10,000 spectators attended the event.