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To honor veterans, parades will be hosted in local communities such as Hopkinsville and Clarksville Nov. 9.  (Fort Campbell Courier Archive)

There are many ways to honor veterans this month right in your neighborhood with parades and public ceremonies. 

Veterans Day, Nov. 11, is an official holiday commemorating the end of World War 1 in 1918. It is a day to honor veterans for their service and dedication to the United States of America, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

The Clarksville-Montgomery County Veterans Day Parade, hosted by the Montgomery County Veterans Service Organization and the Clarksville Chamber of Commerce, begins 10 a.m. Nov. 9 at the intersection of North Eighth and College streets. 

“At 9 a.m. we will have our opening ceremony, which is in front of the historic courthouse downtown,” said Andrew Kester, MCVSO director. “The mayor will speak and our guest speaker this year is [ retired Col.] Rob Salome, [former] garrison commander of Fort Campbell.”

This year, the Veterans Day celebrations in Clarksville will coincide with Austin Peay State University’s homecoming festivities. 

“The two events match up every five years or so,” Kester said. “Their homecoming parade will be incorporated into our Veterans Day Parade. It will still be the traditional parade, but the entries will increase and it will be a larger, slightly longer event.”

The theme of the Clarksville-Montgomery County celebration is “A Salute to Veterans Service Organizations.”

“The Montgomery County Veterans Service Organization celebrated 75 years this year,” Kester said. “We thought it would be proper to recognize all service organizations.”

“There are (more than) 100 organizations in Montgomery County that provide services to veterans. We have 36,000 veterans and another 20,000 active-duty members. We are the second largest county that is home to veterans in Tennessee. I think it’s important they realize what services are here for them.” 

Many of the organizations will participate in the parade to raise awareness and connect with veterans during festivities. 

The event is a great opportunity for the veteran community to learn more about services available to them., Kester said. 

Hopkinsville celebrates veterans this year beginning at 10 a.m. Nov. 9 with its annual Hopkinsville Veterans Day Honor Parade.

“Not only will we have our veterans participate, but the local high school JROTC cadets and our other local Christian County schools participate as well,” said Kelli Pendleton, president and chief executive officer of the Christian County Chamber of Commerce. “The schools participate in the sidewalk salute competition, which challenges schools to get as many students out to participate in and support the event as possible.”

The parade brings together the veterans and the community, Pendleton said. 

“This is a very patriotic community and we have a lot of turn out for it,” she said. “At the end of the parade there will be some remarks made to honor and thank our Veterans for all they have done.”

All are encouraged to attend the parade to celebrate local veterans. 

“The community is always very supportive of the parade,” Pendleton said. “We work with many Veterans but don’t always think of them in this capacity, so it’s great to be able to recognize them alongside the community.” 

More events to enjoy

• 10 a.m. Nov. 9 American Legion Veterans Day Parade in Gallatin, Tennessee.

• Noon Nov. 10 Military Appreciation Game – Tennessee Titans vs. Kansas City Chiefs at Nissan Stadium, 1 Titans Way, Nashville. The game also airs on CBS. 

• 11 a.m. Nov. 11 Nashville Regional City Veterans Parade, Nashville. 

• 10 a.m. Nov. 23 Military Appreciation Football Game at Austin Peay State University’s Fortera Stadium, Clarksville.

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