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Bandera Honors Veterans celebration

By Susan Junker BCC Contributor

The "11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month" will be celebrated in Bandera on Saturday, Nov. 8, on the Bandera County Courthouse lawn. The official program begins at 11 am, but there's more to see and do on both sides of that hour.
The traditional Bandera Honors Veterans celebration will be held prior to the official Veterans Day on Nov. 11 to allow more participation. The very first national proclamation "insured proper and widespread observance of this anniversary, all veterans, all veterans organizations, and the entire citizenry will wish to join hands in the common purpose." Veterans Day honors America's veterans for their patriotism, love of country and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good."
Texas is one of only three states with over a million veterans -1.5 million in 2013 and rapidly closing in on California's 1.7 million veterans. With its estimated veteran population of nearly 15 percent - approximately 3,400 veterans - Bandera County knows how to celebrate service to the nation. In 2013, there were 19.6 million veterans in the United States - 9.3 million of those are 65 years and older with 1.6 million younger than 35.7 years. The Bandera community boasts citizens from each of these categories, as well as World War II, and those who served during multiple wartime periods, including WWII, Korea and Vietnam. Saturday's celebration honors all who served honorably during wartime or peacetime. All participating Bandera veterans are encouraged to proudly wear headgear, pins or uniforms to the festivities.
The Nov. 8 events include:
• 9 am - All veterans and their families are encouraged to bring a family display to the courthouse, such as military memorabilia, photographs, family military history, awards and decorations. Contact Debbie Considine at 830-496-4185 to reserve a table or visit http://www.al157tx.org/parade--family-display-entry-forms.html and reserve on-line.
• 10 am - Visit the family displays and information tables on the front lawn of the Courthouse. Photographs are encouraged!
• 11 am - Official ceremony begins at the stand in front of the courthouse with a prayer, posting of the colors by the FFA, the National Anthem and Pledge of Allegiance, as well as recognition of WWII veterans. Retired United States Army Major General WHO Guest, County Judge Richard Evans and Mayor Don Clark will provide brief remarks. World War II veterans and dignitaries will move to floats and military vehicles.
• Noon - The parade begins at the corner of Bandera and Main Streets. There is still time to register an entry by calling the American Legion at 830-796-7528 or online at http://www.al157tx.org/parade--family-display-entry-forms.html. The mounted color guard will lead the way, so remember to remove all those hats as they pass by in honor of all the American flag represents. Boy Scouts will distribute flags to children along the parade route on Main Street.
• 1 pm - A free BBQ lunch will be provided for veterans and spouses on the back courthouse lawn. Non-veterans may also enjoy lunch there for $3.50. New to this year's menu is a large cake decorated for each military service. For more information on the luncheon underwritten by attorney Wayne Wright see "Wayne Wright- true Texas patriot" on page WHAT.
"Veterans Day is our day to honor and thank all military personnel who served the United States in all wars, particularly living veterans and their families," said a spokesman for Bandera Honors Veterans. "We look forward to seeing all the tailgates facing Main Street, the family displays being shared by others, everyone waving Old Glory, and preserving this living tradition with everyone on Main Street. See you there!"
For more information, contact the Bandera American Legion Post 157 at 210-788-9160.