Veterans Parade supports our troops and celebrates Old Glory

Posted: Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Until last year June 14th, Flag Day had gone somewhat uncelebrated on the Kenai Peninsula. That was when Ken Lancaster got together with Herb Stettler of VFW Post #10046 and National Guardsman Will Schwenke to organize the first Veterans Parade in Soldotna to honor our returning troops. "It's just about showing our community support for our veterans and service men and women and what they've done for us as a free nation," said Lancaster. According to Lancaster there were about 60 participants in this year's parade down Binkley Street with perfect weather conditions. During the parade it was announced by Soldotna City Mayor Peter Micciche that National Guardsman Will Schwenke was not only marching in the parade but had become a grandfather for the first time early that morning. "It's a grand and glorious day for a parade," called out Schwenke

A highlight of the 2nd Annual Flag Day Veterans Parade was the huge new 15'X25' Stars & Stripes purchased by the Kenai Peninsula Fire Chiefs Association, "It's a ceremonial flag that our Chiefs Association bought so that it could be used at special occasions Borough wide. It is truly awe inspiring," said CES Chief Chris Mokracek.

The Flag Day parade is grassroots effort with folks like Lyndon Transport donating the flatbed trailer for the stage and Hutchings contributing the staging lot on Marydale. Also in honor of the day The Peninsula Clarion ran a full page rendition of Old Glory for readers to post in their windows through the 4th of July to show support for our Troops. "Please join us in honoring our forefathers and the flag that represents their spirit and oursour American Spirit. Display this flag by taping it in a window at your home or office. It's a great way to show your American pride and your respect for our most important symbol." Extra copies of the flag are available at the offices of the Peninsula Clarion in Kenai. Any one interested in displaying the Peninsula Chiefs ceremonial flag at a special event may contact their local fire station for more information. "You bet we'll do it again next year!" concluded Lancaster.

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