Witness the many people, young and old, who regularly line up along the main street for the Western Week, Diez y Seis and lighted Christmas season parades.
However, if ever there was such an event which deserved a massive crowd of appreciative, cheering Americans, it would be this Saturday.
That is when organizers will stage the Parade That Never Was for Vietnam veterans and for all other vets who have served their country.
Many of the Vietnam veterans who returned to this country were never given a decent homecoming.
Their friends and neighbors had little to say about the time they had sacrificed when they answered their country’s call during an unpopular war. Some even were spat upon or were the targets of hateful, disparaging remarks.
These dedicated, gallant men, now in their 60s and 70s, including those who belong to the Tomas Gonzales Chapter 929 of the Vietnam Veterans of America, deserve far better.
Fortunately, from Washington, D.C., to Austin and other cities large and small, monuments have been erected and ceremonies held in recent years to right this wrong and help overcome the pain and neglect suffered by these service members.
Now, on May 11, Vietnam veterans, their families, friends and grateful spectators can demonstrate their support by attending this parade.
Organizers are hoping that a thousand or more people will line North Washington Street from the College North Shopping Center through downtown Beeville.
Veterans from World War II, Korea and the first Gulf War also are expected to march or ride in the parade, along with the more recent veterans who have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Whether they decide to march or not, these veterans are owed a “platoon” of thanks for their service to this nation.
Bee County and area residents should turn out and welcome them home finally!