Veterans celebrated by VFW Post 8577 with annual parade
By PAMELA GRANT
Sunday, November 11 marked the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, or the end of World War I. The occasion was renamed Veteran’s Day in 1954 as a way of honoring veterans of all wars.
On Saturday, the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Olan Forest Smith Post 8577 and Auxiliary hosted their annual Veteran’s Day Parade. 38 groups to include floats, marching bands, cars, and horses made their way from the VFW parking lot and onto Veterans Avenue, up Main Street, and along Avenue D completing an approximately 1.5-mile route which ended in the Cove Terrace Shopping Center parking lot.
Following the police escort, the parade was led as traditionally by the Copperas Cove Fire Department. Other groups included various Boy Scout packs, Blue Santa, Copperas Cove Nursing and Rehabilitation, the Mount Hiram Lodge, and more. Mayor Frank Seffrood and his wife even participated in the festivities.
“We don’t miss an occassion to pay tribute to the military and to our own community,” said Seffrood. “Since [WWI ended], there’s been over 41 million Americans that have lost their lives in armed combat…It’s just not right to let that happen without recognition…We’re celebrating those who gave us the ability to celebrate.”
Despite the cold weather and the threat of rain, VFW Post Commander Herb Wright and other parade organizers and participants estimated that there was a greater turnout than usual for Saturday’s parade.
“It’s one of the oldest parades in Central Texas,” said Daniel Sellers, who emceed the parade as it passed by the judges for the top parade entries. “We come out here to celebrate the veterans and those who have served our country.”
Hundreds lined the streets along the parade route waving flags and cheering on the procession. Many wore a Buddy Poppy given out by VFW members, symbolizing bloodshed, as a way of honoring the fallen. Among the spectators, several were parents who brought out their children for the event.
“It was good,” said Brittany Hudson, who brought her daughters, Emily (7), Olivia (6), and Chloe (4) Hudson to watch the parade. “We really enjoyed it. I grew up participating in the parade.”
“I loved it!” said Emily Hudson. “I got two stickers. Everything was my favorite!”
“Getting candy was my favorite,” piped in Olivia Hudson.
After the parade, the VFW hosted an open house event at their location with help from the CCPD and the CCFD who brought their Fire Safety House. The VFW served three types of chili, three types of cornbread including jalapeño cornbread, various desserts, and more. They also presented awards to the best parade entries.
The CCHS Pride of Cove Marching Band received 1st place in both Best Band and Best Marching Unit. The Five Hills Royalty received 1st prize for Best Float and Copperas Cove Nursing and Rehabilitation received 2nd place. FUBAR won the title of Best Decorated Car/Truck and the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association came in 2nd place. The Central Texas Saddle Club came in 1st place in the final category, Horse Unit/Animal Entries. Rodeo Queen came in 2nd place.