Tallahassee Veterans Day Parade Draws An Estimated 20,000

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Rod Dugger enjoyed the Tallahassee Veterans Day Parade from the reviewing stand.

The 93 year old is a veteran of both World War II and Korea.

"I was in the entire World War II from beginning to end. I'm glad I did, but I'm glad I don't have to go back through it again," said Dugger.

The parade was a way to thank people like Dugger for their service.

It included music, salutes and good wishes.

"Oh I think it's a great day for the veterans you know all over the world and all the wars," said Vietnam veteran Sam Inman.

"Kind of reflect back to those days and make me think about how the Lord really brought me out safe and I was able to come back home," said Korean War veteran Philip Speights.

"I have memories of my fallen comrades, some of my better friends, my best friends were killed in Vietnam," said Vietnam veteran James L. Gaines.

And on the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, the parade stopped to remember the ones who didn't make it home.

For the ones who did and an enthusiastic crowd, an inflatable Statue of Liberty made her first Tallahassee parade appearance.

"It was a beautiful day for a parade, it was a beautiful parade. It's wonderful to be an American," said Dugger. "It's wonderful to be alive," he said.

Rick Clevenger was the grand marshal for today's parade.

He was honored in June with a national award for his work with the Vietnam Veterans of America Big Bend Chapter.

Thousands of people from our area are heading to downtown Tallahassee for the veterans day parade.

"Vet Events Tally" has been putting on the parade for the past 4 years.

This year's parade costs about 25,000 dollars. The parade starts at 10:45 this morning along Monroe Street.

Afterwards a ceremony will begin at the Vietnam War Memorial at the corner of Apalachee Parkway.

By: James Buechele

Tallahassee, Fla.

This time of year brings perfect weather for a parade. Thousands will head to downtown Tallahassee for the Veterans Day Parade this coming Monday.

Michael Slagle prepares flags for the 2013 Veterans Day Parade. This Vietnam veteran is a member of Vet Events Tally and makes sure the public has a way of honoring those that have served in the military.

"It's to show the community who we are and why we support the veterans that we do and honor them with this parade," said Slagle.

Vet Events Tally has been putting on the parade for the past four years ever since it was canceled back in 2009. Now, for veterans in the area, they say this is a very important part of the day.

Although this year's parade is paid for, it costs about $25,000 to organize the celebration in Tallahassee. The organization says there could be more done from local businesses to make sure this event has legs in the future.

Tallahassee resident John Wilson says this is a great chance to educate future generations.

"You should get your children involved and let them know exactly what's going on," said Wilson. "That way, later, they can appreciate it a little more."

As long as veterans live in the big bend, Slagle will be there helping to get the parade going.

"The [veterans] I have met, have been able to come up and say thank you very much for the representation."

The parade begins at 10:45 a.m.

For more information about the events going on in Tallahassee visit veteventstally.org

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