Sherman is taking the opportunity to highlight and showcase its military history with the return of a Veterans Day parade in the city this weekend. It has been more than 30 years since Sherman has held a Veterans Day parade, 2018 parade organizer Ron Engelke said.
With the support of the local VFW Post 2772 in Sherman, as well as other area veterans support organizations, the Sherman event will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday in downtown.
“I came to Sherman in the ’60s and we had a parade then,” Engelke said. “We had parades in 1979, 1980 and 1981. Then they just kind of faded away.”
Then at a meeting a little more than a year ago, a veteran asked Engelke about Sherman’s parade.
“It was kind of sad the way it came about,” he said on Thursday. “But this event is veterans putting on an event for themselves.”
Denison also has been working to make sure that Veterans Day parades continue reaching area audiences. While the city has had a Veterans Day parade for many years, the event was taken over by the Knights of Columbus two years ago after the VFW Post 2773 — which was located in Denison — was disbanded.
Gary Cox who was a member of both groups at the time that the post closed, said that the post’s pursuits fell right in line with the Knights of Columbus’ patriotic degree. He linked the organizations and continued to help host the parade.
This year’s parade has been moved back to give veterans an opportunity to come from other area events. Kick off in Denison will be at 2 p.m. in downtown.
“It is a day to honor the vets for serving our country,” Cox said. “It’s a consistent group that comes out. It is an enjoyable event. People like the vehicles and the floats. We always have a good variety of participants.”
There will be about 30 civic and veterans support organizations in the Denison event this year, with about 150 participants overall.
As of Thursday, there were 23 scheduled participants for the Sherman event, though a few more could still be added to the parade line. Not just those affiliated with Sherman, floats and parade riders will be coming from Whitesboro, Paris and other places.
“As far as school goes, books can tell you a lot of information, but they do not give you a full idea of what the veterans went through,” Engelke said. “The youth need to know what these people went through so that they could have the freedoms that are available today.”
Engelke said organizers wanted to schedule the parade on Saturday so that after the event, people could stay downtown and shop at local businesses.
“As long as I can keep it going, I want to keep this up,” he said. “We want to support our community. We want people to come downtown and then see what specials local businesses are offering for Veterans Day.”