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Kentucky Air Guard kicks off Louisville Veterans Day Parade

The city of Louisville, Ky., celebrates Veterans Day Nov. 11, 2011, with a Main Street parade and Massing of the Colors ceremony that showcased dozens of color guard details from every branch of the U.S. military, numerous veterans' groups and a variety of government agencies like the Louisville Metro Fire Department.  The parade began with a three-ship C-130 flyover, courtesy of the Kentucky Air National Guard's 123rd Airlift Wing. The wing's 123rd Force Support Squadron also coordinated a joint-service color guard, shown here, that led the parade down Main Street. (U.S. Air Force photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

The city of Louisville, Ky., celebrates Veterans Day Nov. 11, 2011, with a Main Street parade and Massing of the Colors ceremony that showcased dozens of color guard details from every branch of the U.S. military, numerous veterans' groups and a variety of government agencies like the Louisville Metro Fire Department. The parade began with a three-ship C-130 flyover, courtesy of the Kentucky Air National Guard's 123rd Airlift Wing. The wing's 123rd Force Support Squadron also coordinated a joint-service color guard, shown here, that led the parade down Main Street. (U.S. Air Force photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

The last of three Kentucky Air National Guard C-130s flies over Main Street in Louisville, Ky., Nov. 11, 2011, to kick off the city's Veterans Day Parade and Massing of the Colors, a ceremony that showcased dozens of color guard details from every branch of the U.S. military, numerous veterans' groups and a variety of government agencies like the Louisville Metro Fire Department.  The parade was led by a joint-service color guard (foreground) organized by the Kentucky Air Guard's 123rd Force Support Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

The last of three Kentucky Air National Guard C-130s flies over Main Street in Louisville, Ky., Nov. 11, 2011, to kick off the city's Veterans Day Parade and Massing of the Colors, a ceremony that showcased dozens of color guard details from every branch of the U.S. military, numerous veterans' groups and a variety of government agencies like the Louisville Metro Fire Department. The parade was led by a joint-service color guard (foreground) organized by the Kentucky Air Guard's 123rd Force Support Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

A joint color guard leads Louisville's Veterans Day parade down Main Street on Nov. 11, 2011. Representing the Air Force is Staff Sgt. Brent Reichardt (second from right) of the Kentucky Air National Guard's 123rd Maintenance Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

A joint color guard leads Louisville's Veterans Day parade down Main Street on Nov. 11, 2011. Representing the Air Force is Staff Sgt. Brent Reichardt (second from right) of the Kentucky Air National Guard's 123rd Maintenance Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Louisville, Ky., Mayor Greg Fischer waves to spectators along Main Street as he marches in the city's Veterans Day parade Nov. 11, 2011. The parade also included dozens of color guard details representing every branch of the U.S. military, numerous veterans' groups and a variety of government agencies like the Louisville Metro Fire Department. (U.S. Air Force photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Louisville, Ky., Mayor Greg Fischer waves to spectators along Main Street as he marches in the city's Veterans Day parade Nov. 11, 2011. The parade also included dozens of color guard details representing every branch of the U.S. military, numerous veterans' groups and a variety of government agencies like the Louisville Metro Fire Department. (U.S. Air Force photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

A parade marshal assigned to the 113th Army Band stands ready to march down Main Street in Louisville, Ky., on Nov. 11, 2011, as part of the city's Veterans Day celebration. The band is based at Fort Knox, Ky. (U.S. Air Force photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

A parade marshal assigned to the 113th Army Band stands ready to march down Main Street in Louisville, Ky., on Nov. 11, 2011, as part of the city's Veterans Day celebration. The band is based at Fort Knox, Ky. (U.S. Air Force photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

The 113th Army Band marches down Main Street in Louisville, Ky., on Nov. 11, 2011, during the city's Veterans Day Parade. The band is based at Fort Knox, Ky. (U.S. Air Force photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

The 113th Army Band marches down Main Street in Louisville, Ky., on Nov. 11, 2011, during the city's Veterans Day Parade. The band is based at Fort Knox, Ky. (U.S. Air Force photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

The Kentucky Air National Guard fielded a color guard detail as part of the Louisville, Ky., Veterans Day Parade and Massing of the Colors held Nov 11, 2011. The detail was comprised of Tech. Sgt. George Burke, Tech. Sgt. Brittany Ingram, Tech. Sgt. Bao Huynh and Staff Sgt. Garrett Milby. (U.S. Air Force photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

The Kentucky Air National Guard fielded a color guard detail as part of the Louisville, Ky., Veterans Day Parade and Massing of the Colors held Nov 11, 2011. The detail was comprised of Tech. Sgt. George Burke, Tech. Sgt. Brittany Ingram, Tech. Sgt. Bao Huynh and Staff Sgt. Garrett Milby. (U.S. Air Force photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Cadet 2nd Lt. Ashley Brainer, a member of the Moore Traditional High School Air Force Junior JROTC detachment, stands at attention during the Massing of the Colors ceremony held Nov. 11, 2011, in downtown Louisville, Ky. The ceremony showcased dozens of color guard details from every branch of the U.S. military, numerous veterans' groups and a variety of government agencies like the Louisville Metro Fire Department. (U.S. Air Force photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Cadet 2nd Lt. Ashley Brainer, a member of the Moore Traditional High School Air Force Junior JROTC detachment, stands at attention during the Massing of the Colors ceremony held Nov. 11, 2011, in downtown Louisville, Ky. The ceremony showcased dozens of color guard details from every branch of the U.S. military, numerous veterans' groups and a variety of government agencies like the Louisville Metro Fire Department. (U.S. Air Force photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Col. Tom Curry, a former 123rd Airlift Wing chaplain, blesses a color guard detail during Louisville, Kentucky's Massing of the Colors ceremony held Nov. 11, 2011. Curry is the Air National Guard assistant to the command chaplain of Air Mobility Command. (U.S. Air Force photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Col. Tom Curry, a former 123rd Airlift Wing chaplain, blesses a color guard detail during Louisville, Kentucky's Massing of the Colors ceremony held Nov. 11, 2011. Curry is the Air National Guard assistant to the command chaplain of Air Mobility Command. (U.S. Air Force photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

Cadet Gunnery Sgt. Austin Lucas, a member of the Jeffersontown High School Maine Corps Junior ROTC squad, represents the U.S. Marines in the joint-service color guard during Louisville, Kentucky's Veterans Day Parade and Massing of the Colors, held Nov. 11, 2011. The joint color guard led the parade down Main Street. (U.S. Air Force photo by Maj. Dale Greer)
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Cadet Gunnery Sgt. Austin Lucas, a member of the Jeffersontown High School Maine Corps Junior ROTC squad, represents the U.S. Marines in the joint-service color guard during Louisville, Kentucky's Veterans Day Parade and Massing of the Colors, held Nov. 11, 2011. The joint color guard led the parade down Main Street. (U.S. Air Force photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

A U.S. flag unfurls over Main Street during Louisville, Kentucky's Veterans Day Parade and Massing of the Colors, held Nov. 11, 2011. The event was attended by hundreds of spectators. (U.S. Air Force photo by Maj. Dale Greer)
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A U.S. flag unfurls over Main Street during Louisville, Kentucky's Veterans Day Parade and Massing of the Colors, held Nov. 11, 2011. The event was attended by hundreds of spectators. (U.S. Air Force photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

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.