Last year when Veteran’s Day rolled around I posted photographs of the ribbons adorning lamp posts and commented that they had just sprung up all up and down Gay Street. I didn’t realize Knoxville had a Veterans’ Day parade and I assumed someone had experienced a sudden burst of patriotism. Of course I didn’t know about the parade because I’ve always worked on that day and never had the opportunity to be in the city when it happened.
In response to my blog post about the mysterious ribbons I got a comment from a very helpful person that said, in part, “Its. A. Parade,” and commented about how “we” do this downtown. It’s one of my all-time favorite comments with it’s barely controlled rage and smug downtown insider information.
It turned out that I took the day off last year to be with Urban Brother and we got to enjoy the parade together and I wrote a blog post about it. This year I won’t be so blessed: My brother is in his own city and I have to work as is usual. I still thought the day worth mentioning.
My Favorite Veteran: Urban Father with Urban Daughter and Urban Toddler
I’ll give a tip of the hat to my favorite veteran: Urban Father. He served in the navy during the Korean War spending time on a fuel ship and in Japan just after the occupation. Even though he was proud to get out of the military, he is, to this day, proud of his service and I appreciate his willingness to do so, as I appreciate all the others who have served or are currently serving.
Veteran’s Memorial, World’s Fair Park, Knoxville
It’s worth noting that, in addition to several memorials to particular wars, Knoxville has a pretty good memorial to its soldiers who have died in the service of their country. Included are each of the names of Knoxvillians and those from surrounding counties on large markers at the north end of the World’s Fair Park. The inscriptions are kept up to date and include those killed in the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars. I’d encourage you to spend a quiet moment or two there when you get the chance.
And if you are able, enjoy the parade for me. This will be the 86th edition and it begins at 10:40. If you want to send me a good picture (or more) from the parade, I’ll look for a chance to include it on the blog. Certainly, take this day to thank a veteran. They deserve our gratitude in every way.
Meanwhile at the Bill Lyons Pavilion on Market Square, the Occupy Wall Street/Occupy Knoxville group will hold a big rally and march. This is not disconnected from Veteran’s Day. The freedoms preserved by those Veteran’s make this exercise in democracy possible. This is not lost on the group who plan to do something every hour to honor veterans. Their event will run from 11AM to 11PM and is part of the global Occupy the Streets day.