Each year on the Saturday closest to November 11, Veterans Day, an hour long parade, the Clarksville-Montgomery County Veterans Day Parade is held in Downtown Clarksville, Tennessee.
This is our report on the 2012 edition of this impressive event.

Veterans Day is an annual and official United States holiday on which people who served in the Armed Forces are honored.
It is held on each November 11th and coincides with comparable commemoration days in other parts of the world such as Armistice Day and Remembrance Day which, like Veterans Day all remember the end of the First World War.
Until 1954 Veterans Day was named Armistice Day in the United States.
It was President Woodrow Wilson who initiated Armistice Day in 1919 which became a national holiday in 1938.

Battle Detective Tom enjoying the Clarksville-Montgomery County Veterans Day Parade on Third Street.
Photo courtesy of Robert Smith of the Leaf Chronicle.

Veterans Day
Although originally scheduled for celebration on November 11 of every year, starting in 1971 in accordance with the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, Veterans Day was moved to the fourth Monday of October.
Several veterans organizations protested against this and subsequently since 1978, Veterans Day is observed on each 11th of November. While the legal holiday remains on November 11, if that date happens to be on a Saturday or Sunday, then organizations that formally observe the holiday will be closed on the adjacent Friday or Monday, respectively.
This year, November 11th was on a Sunday and most public offices, museums and schools were closed, the next day. That Monday, November 12th, we found a locked door at the Tennessee State Museum’s Military Branch in Nashville when we wanted to visit the permanent display of Sergeant York’s uniform and a temporary exhibition about the location in the Argonne Forest where he earned his Medal of Honor.
Of course we went back the next day and a report on these exhibitions can be seen in the updates in Battle Study # 19.

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Veterans Day 2012
This year too, on Saturday November 10th 2012, a large parade was organized in Clarksville, Tennessee.
We took our positions on the steps of the courthouse on Third Street near the dignitaries.
Because we had witnessed the start of the parade on the corner of Eight and College Streets, we were just in time to hear the closing remarks of Montgomery County Mayor Carolyn P. Bowers‘ speech.
A wreath laying ceremony followed and a Color Guard of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) retreated the colors at the reviewing stand.
Among the dignitaries we met were former mayor of Clarksville, Ted A. Crozier Sr. and Deputy Chief Michael Parr of the Clarksville Police Department.
Ted Crozier introduced us to Philip Grey, a veteran of the Viet Nam War who served in the 502nd Infantry regiment of the 101st. Only later we learned that Grey is also a reporter for The Leaf Chronicle because we were featured in his article in the Veteran’s Day issue of Tennessee’s oldest newspaper.

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Start of the parade on Eight and College Streets

Speech and wreath laying by Mayor Bowers

Deputy Police Chief Parr and former Mayor Crozier

The parade was spearheaded by patrol units of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, followed by several emergency vehicles from Clarksville, Woodlawn and other towns in Montgomery County, all using their sirens and bull horns.

After this loud introduction every high school in the county with their Junior Reserve Officer Training Center (JROTC) details and marching bands marched by the reviewing stand.
We saw several motor cycle clubs, Veterans of Foreign War posts, other veterans and local organizations, Boy Scout packs and Girl Scout troops pass by.
Republican State Senate candidate Mark Green ran the entire parade, handing out American flags to parade spectators.
There was Lesleigh Stanfill, elected Miss Austin Peay State University 2013 exactly one week before the parade. We saw our friend Joseph Bossi, Honorary Command Sergeant Mayor in the 327th Infantry Regiment ride by in a modern military vehicle. Joe has been our military advisor in cases like Battle Study #13.
The rear guard of the parade was formed by patrol units of the Clarksville Police Department.
Battle Detective Tom was featured in the Clarksville LeafChronicle's website:


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Flag Raising Ceremony at Customs House Museum
After the parade Ted Crozier invited us to the flag raising ceremony and other functions in and around the Customs House Museum on South Second Street.
Sponsored by the Kiwanis of Clarksville's Service & Sacrifice Committee, celebrations here were opened with the Pledge of Allegiance, the raising of the American flag and the firing of volleys of M1 Garand rounds by a United States Marine Corps detail.
Master of ceremonies was Tom Creech, President-elect of the Kiwanis and owner at the McReynolds-Nave-Larson Funeral Home on Madison Street.

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Pledge of Allegiance and US Marine Corps rifle volley and bugle player
Raising of the Star Bangled Banner

Photographer on roof of the LeafChronicle 'shot' the whole ceremony

Lecture, Choir and Interview w/20th Armored Veteran
Events honoring American veterans continued inside the museum’s auditorium where Dr. Dewey A. Browder of the Department of History & Philosophy at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville held a lecture on the importance of civil-military relations.
The Phi Mu Alpha Music Fraternity, directed by Tom King, sang patriotic songs after which two World War Two Veterans from Clarksville took the stand.

US Marine Lynn Hunter interviewed his friend SSGT Max Ernst of "D" Company, 9th Tank Battalion of the 20th Armored Division.

Max had earned the Silver Star Medal for cutting demolition wires under a bridge in Southern Germany on the 26th of April 1945.

With the help of several period photographs projected on a huge screen, Max answered Lynn's questions about entering the Army, Camp Campbell, combat and learning about the Nazi death camp of Dachau, liberated by elements of Max's 20th Armored Division.

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Lynn Hunter interviewing Max Ernst

After the interview a group photo was made with US Marine Lynn Hunter, 20th Armored Veteran Max Ernst, COL Ted A. "Wild Turkey" Crozier Sr. and LTG Hubert "Hugh" G. Smith in front of a gigantic American flag in the style of the 1970 movie "Patton".

The celebration ended with a coffee social hour in the museum's cafeteria.
It also marks the closing of our report of this typical American event, commemorating the heroes of this country.

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