Lynchburg Veterans Day Parade Comes to Liberty University
- First Veterans Day parade in Lynchburg for 79 years honors the heroes who sacrificed for America’s freedoms.
- Lynchburg has strong ties with the military dating back to the Civil War.
The Greater Lynchburg Veteran’s Council put on Lynchburg’s first Veterans Day parade in 79 years on Liberty University’s campus, Nov. 11.
The parade had 60 entries that included five bands and incorporated history with each entry. Over 200 veterans from six different wars signed up to participate in the parade.
More than 100 volunteers were involved to bring the parade to veterans and the community of Lynchburg.
“If you want to be involved in helping veterans, you can come to the meetings we have,” the founder of the Veterans Council, Otto Davis, said. “Everybody is welcome to come.”
This idea of a parade to honor local veterans came from Neil Jackson, according to Chuck Olsen, president of the Veterans Council. Olsen said that Jackson tried to have the parade put on in Lynchburg last year, but construction limited the possible routes.
According to Olsen, it remains unclear as to why it took so long for the parade to be hosted in Lynchburg again.
“I just think that with these ties that the city has—close ties to the military—it has just been an oversight,” Olsen said. “An unfortunate oversight. If you go back to the history of the city, they had close ties to the military even during the Civil War.”
According to Olsen, one of the directors of the Veteran’s Council—Mike Brady—had ties to Liberty and thought the campus would be a nice fit for the parade.
“We could not do this parade if it was not for the businesses and sponsors backing us,” Olsen said.
According to Brady, part of every corporation’s donations goes to help veterans with expenses.
Helping with veteran expenses is just one way the Veteran’s Council honors veterans. The council hopes to continue honoring veterans with a parade in their honor, while educating the community.
“It’s important for two reasons,” Olsen said. “First and foremost, it’s to honor the veterans. They’ve put their whole lives on the line…So to have an event where people remember the fact that there was somebody on the other end that gave you the freedom to take that knee (during the national anthem), and he may have paid for it with his life or with his blood or with the life of a family member (is important).”
According to Olsen, the Lynchburg community has been very supportive and appreciative of veterans.
“This is just an opportunity to bring the public together to talk about the service and sacrifice that’s allowed the prosperity and the freedom that we have in this country today,” Olsen said.
Visit the Greater Lynchburg Area Veteran’s Council website or Facebook page for more information on upcoming events and updates on future parades.