Vets parade grows in third year

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 9, 2013

By David Vitrano

LAPLACE – On Monday, the third annual Veterans Day Parade will roll through St. John the Baptist Parish, and parade organizer Brian Bertrand promises this year’s celebration will be bigger and better than ever before.
Last year’s parade was a bit scaled back as much of the parish was still struggling to bounce back from Hurricane Isaac at this time last year, but some special guests for this year’s event promise to put the shine back on an event near and dear to many in the local community. Lt. Gen. Richard P. Mills of the United States Marine Corps will take part this year as will the Marine Corps Band, and according to Bertrand, the presence of either would be an honor but to have both will make Monday’s celebration truly special.
The parade will begin at Home Depot on Airline Highway in LaPlace. It will travel up Airline and end at the Southeast Louisiana War Veterans Home in Reserve. Bertrand
said any local veteran who wishes to take
part in the parade can come to Home Depot no later than 9:30 a.m. Monday. Veterans wishing to participate should also consider decorating their vehicle in patriotic garb for the parade, according to Bertrand. He also said that while he may be able to squeeze a few people into vehicles already participating in the parade, veterans should provide their own vehicle, if at all possible.
At the veterans home, a program of celebration and remembrance will greet parading veterans. Aside from music from the Louis Ford Jazz Band, the patriotic program includes recognition of the oldest veteran residing at the veterans home, several guest speakers and a balloon release. Also, jambalaya, drinks and cake will be served.
All are invited to attend the free celebration.