The streets of Sherman and Denison were filled with patriotic supporters Saturday celebrating Veterans Day one day early.
Each city held a Veterans Day parade on Saturday, with the morning parade in Sherman and the afternoon parade in Denison allowing military members and former servicemen from all branches and many operations to be honored. Retired U.S. Air Force Col. Gary Cox and his fellow Knights of Columbus helped organize Denison’s Veterans Day parade. Cox said the event usually draws several hundred spectators to the city’s Main Street for a look at the procession of military vehicles, motorcycles and marching bands.
“From what I’ve seen, participation numbers have been going up over the last few years,” Cox said. “We get individuals from civic and veterans groups , but also those who just want to be patriotic and show support for our veterans and military members.”
After his 27 years of service in the military, Cox said he felt particularly proud to honor his fellow veterans, and that he hoped all who lined streets the in Sherman, Denison or any other American town this weekend would recognize the sacrifice veterans make.
“It’s a great sacrifice, and not just in the sense of combat,” Cox said. “It requires a huge sacrifice on the part of their families as well. That should serve as a reminder and make us thankful for all we have back here in the States. And it is all because of them.”
With children in toe, Terry Schmidt and Josh Hudges came from Gunter to attend Saturday morning’s parade in Sherman, and they both said it was worth the trip. Around 150 people lined Travis Street along the downtown square despite morning temperatures in the 40s. The Sherman parade was the first of its kind in more than 30 years and some said they’d like to see it grow in the future.
“I really enjoyed seeing all of the veterans,” Sue Kee said. “I would love to see more floats and school participation though. I think this is very important because we want them to know what has happened in the past. We know that they do not learn all of the history in high school so we have to be the ones to bring it to them.”
The parade featured a number of military vehicles, as well as representatives from the Sherman Fire Department, Sherman Police Department, Sherman City Council and several local organizations and businesses. Home Hospice of Grayson County’s entry in the parade featured a number of young people and adults walking and riding while holding pictures of veterans from years past.
Cox said with two Veterans Day parades scheduled on Saturday, participants were a little pressed for time, but all were happy for the added attention the two events brought to the men and women of America’s armed forces.
“I think it’s great,” Cox said. “It increases the public’s opportunity to be exposed, to be made aware of efforts to honor our veterans.”
The Sherman event was particularly special to Kee because 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the signing of the armistice that ended World War I.
“They do not know about it unless their families talk about it at their homes,” she said of today’s youth.
Marliece Vannesti also came out to support the veterans during Sherman’s parade, which featured representatives from KISS FM out of Paris announcing each parade participant and playing music before the festivities got underway.
“It is great that Sherman is having this again and it was a pretty good parade for the first time in decades,” she said. “I cannot wait for it to continue every year. We should always honor those who serve. It is important.”
On Sunday, Sherman VFW Post 2772 will host its annual Veterans Day ceremony at Fairview Park in Sherman. The event will be held at 11:11 a.m. in honor of the time that the armistice was signed 100 years ago. Also on Sunday, Perrin Air Force Base Museum in Denison will have an 8 a.m. sunrise service at the museum with the color guard present, a bugle player, bag pipe player, chaplain and Jeeps on site.