For 2019, plans are underway for a full day of events to honor veterans.
At the July 23, 2019, meeting of the Paducah Board of Commissioners, Bill Evans who serves the community as the general manager of WPSD Local 6 and publisher at the Paducah Sun presented an overview of a new event being planned for the community to celebrate Veterans Day. Over the past few months, representatives from several organizations have been meeting to plan the event, American Hero Veterans Day Celebration. The organizations include WPSD, Paducah Sun, City of Paducah, McCracken County, Paducah-McCracken County Convention & Expo Center, 101st Airborne Sustainable Brigade, Milner & Orr, DAV, VVA, DAR, VFW. Evans said, “We are wanting to capture again the sense of pride in Paducah, McCracken County, and the surrounding areas following when the Wall that Heals came to Paducah.”
The group has determined several goals for the event:
Activities being discussed include a sunrise service, a breakfast for veterans, awards ceremony, annual Veterans Day Parade, programming for middle and high school students, and a concert. Most of the events will be held at the Expo Center. Evans also explained that many ideas are being explored including a thank you card station, singing from school choir groups, a keepsake section to be included in the Paducah Sun, flags for all attendees, and a Wall of Names for families to post names of veterans in their families.
The Paducah Parks & Recreation Department invites the public to attend the Veterans Day Opening Ceremony and Parade in addition to the Global War on Terrorism Memorial Dedication on Monday, November 12.
The dedication ceremony for the Global War on Terror Memorial will be at 9:45 a.m. The Memorial, located on the Clark Street Side of Dolly McNutt Memorial Plaza, was unveiled to the public earlier this year on Memorial Day.
The opening ceremony for the Veterans Day Parade will begin at 10:15 a.m. at the Korean War Monument located on the 6th Street side of the Plaza with a welcome by Paducah Mayor Brandi Harless and the invocation by Rev. Charles Uhlik. Paducah Ambassador and Vietnam Veteran Robert Worden will serve as the Master of Ceremonies. Students who are winners of the Veterans Day Poster & Essay contest, Veterans-Your Service is Not Forgotten, organized by the Daughters of the American Revolution will be recognized at the opening ceremony. The Concord Elementary School Singsations will sing the National Anthem and a medley of patriotic music. The opening ceremony includes the recognition of two 2018 Distinguished Veterans who will serve as the parade’s grand marshals. The ceremony also includes the presentation of the 2018 Patriot Award. The Patriot Award honors a non-veteran who dedicates his or her time to serving veterans and veteran causes in this community.
The annual parade will begin at 11 a.m. at 6th and Washington Streets. It will travel along Washington Street until it turns right on 7th Street. It will then turn right on Broadway and head toward the riverfront. At 2nd Street, it will turn left and disband in the parking lot adjacent to the Farmers' Market.
The WKCTC Television Production Department will record the opening ceremonies and parade (weather-permitting), set it to music, and televise it at a later time on Government 11 and Paducah-2 (for Comcast subscribers).
Following the opening ceremony and parade on November 12, the Annual Veterans Day Grill-out will be held at noon at the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 1191 at 1727 Washington Street. Veterans and the general public are welcome to attend.
The Parks & Recreation Department thanks the local veterans and veteran associations for their guidance in the organization of the parade and opening ceremony.