Sunday, November 8, 2015, the America Legion - Sylva Post 104, led by Commander Ed Harwood, participated in the First Annual Veterans Day Parade in downtown Sylva, North Carolina. Overcast skies kept the air temperature down in the mid-to-high fifties, however, the weather did not deter the Legion and other civic organizations from paying tribute to the veterans of Jackson and Swain County for their service and sacrifices to our nation. The Ladies Auxiliary provided refreshments for all members.
Before the Color Guard headed to the staging area at Mark Watson Park, David Zachary, Post 104 Chaplain-Intern, offered a prayer of gratitude and blessing for all in attendance. Anxious marchers and riders were poised and ready for the event to begin as each float, truck, car, motorcycle, and marching group waited for their cue to move out at 3:00 PM. Excitement filled the air as the parade rounded the corner in front of the old courthouse and headed down main street, where enthusiastic people lined both sides of the street, waving American flags and paying tribute as each float slowly moved passed them.
As a member of the Post 104 Color Guard, I found it exhilarating to hear people shouting out “Thank you for your service” as we marched the American flag and Post flag passed their location, and it was evident that patriotism is still alive in this small community of rural America. Representatives from the Sylva and Cherokee (Post 143 and Ladies Auxiliary) American Legions, NC National Guard, Vets to Vets, Patriot Guard Riders, along with war veterans from WW II, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, and Iraqi Freedom passed by in various vehicles, motorcycles, and floats. In addition, representatives from every branch of military service, local governments, political parties, law enforcement, fire departments, radio, and the Cherokee High School JROTC participated in the procession, with each group showing their patriotic support for the military veterans who sacrifice(d) so much for our freedoms. The parade proceeded for a short forty-minute march down Main Street, circling around Mill Street and returning to the staging area.
In closing, those citizens who lined the streets of Sylva and gave their support with shouts of thanks created a sense of pride in all the parade participants because their faces expressed the gladness in their heart. May we always remember our military men and woman who continue to serve this great nation, America!
David Zachary, Post 104 Webmaster and Chaplain- Intern
Freedom is never free. . . many veterans paid a very high price for it.
November 8, 2015
Sylva, North Carolina
Photos by: Wanda Zachary
World War II Veterans Monument Rededication Ceremony