7/11/2013 3:00:00 PM Patriot Parade a (wet) success
Everyone was sporting red, white, and blue patriotic attire at last Thursday’s Patriot Parade, but little Joslyn Bosworth really showed her patriotism with her outfit.
Last Thursday’s Patriot 4th of July Parade gave special honor to veterans of the Vietnam War. Vietnam veterans were given the honor of changing the flags in the Memorial Park after the parade, and some Patriot residents who fought in Vietnam walked in the parade. Shown here are, from left: Bill Evans, Randy Craig, Donny McAlister, and Albert Detmer.
It was wet and rainy at times, but even some summer rain couldn't dampen the spirits of those who turned out last Thursday for the town of Patriot's annual 4th of July Parade and community celebration.
Heavy rains in the morning hours leading up to the parade may have caused a few to stay home, but by the time the parade kicked off down Main Street at 11 a.m., most of the showers had stopped, allowing everyone to enjoy the day.
After the Color Guard led the way, Grand Marshal and Vietnam Veterans Darrell Hansel waved to the crowd. This year's parade and festivities were focused on honoring veterans of the Vietnam War, and several veterans walked in the parade and received thundering applause and congratulations from appreciative citizens.
State Senator Jim Smith and State Representative Randy Frye were on hand for the parade; as were county elected officials Auditor Gayle Rayles and County Councilmen Steve Crabtree, Mike Jones, and Tom Conroy.
The Patriot Water Company float passed out inflatable bats and balls to the kids; and many of the floats and parade entries handed out plenty of candy.
The new float designed and built by Mike Danner honoring the Vevay-Switzerland County Bicentennial made its debut in the parade; and the traditional "Loyal Order of Rednecks" float made its appearance.
There were plenty of fire trucks and emergency vehicles with lights flashing and sirens blaring; and the street was filled with four-wheelers, bicycles, tractors, and all sorts of other vehicles.
Following the parade, everyone gathered at the Memorial Park for the traditional program and the changing of the flags.
Gary Copeland sang "The National Anthem", and Mike Jones opened with prayer. Darrell Hansel then spoke about the significance of the holiday, and also the significance of finally being able to welcome home the veterans of the Vietnam War.
Mike Jones reminded everyone that they were participating in something truly unique - as they were celebrating Independence Day in the only community in the country named 'Patriot'.
A special program shared with those assembled the significance of how the American Flag is folded, and what each fold stands for. Mike Jones read about each fold as American Legion members Troy Stafford and Donnie Boydston performed the flag folding ceremony. The flag was then presented to Darrell Hansel.
Hilary Lanman then performed her original song in honor of Vietnam veterans, and Gary Copeland led everyone in singing "God Bless America".
One of the truly special moments of the event came when Michael Boling, who is currently serving in the U.S Army, led everyone in the "Pledge of Allegiance". He is the grandson of Janette Boling of Patriot and the late Roy Boling.
After the ceremony, everyone headed to Harris Park for a big community picnic, and no one allowed the rainy weather to impact their celebration of a patriotic holiday in the most patriotic community in the nation.