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Veterans Day parade honors those who served

Jake Old • Updated Nov 12, 2016 at 8:00 AM

Wilson County’s annual Veterans Day parade served as a tribute to veterans and their families Friday morning.

The parade began at Sutton Street and went down West Main Street, through the square and ended at the Veterans Park plaza near the courthouse, where a program, led by Lt. Col. Jim Henderson, followed.

Among the groups represented in the parade were Gold Star Mothers, grand marshal retired Lt. Gen. John Pickler, high school bands, walking and trolley-riding veterans and military groups.

Pickler was also the guest speaker in the program. He and his wife, Karen, are Wilson County residents.

Pickler retired with more than 36 years of service with the United States Army. He is a 1965 graduate of West Point as an artillery officer and has served in many duty stations throughout his highly honored career including the United States, Vietnam, Turkey, Germany and others.

During the ceremony Friday, Pickler spoke about the value of honoring veterans and the importance of the military.

“While no right-thinking person ever wants war, we believe that a ready and resilient force is our best chance for peace,” Pickler said.

“After all, it was our very first commanding general, George Washington, who said ‘to be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.’”

Veterans from every branch of the military were honored during the ceremony. Gold Star Mothers and families were also recognized.

“There is nothing more important that you can do on this day than to thank a veteran for their service,” Henderson said. 

MORE: Gallery of photos from the Wilson Veterans Day parade.

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