A Wednesday drive-by parade in Cleburne is scheduled beginning 10 a.m. Wednesday both to honor area World War II veterans and to mark the 75th anniversary of the war’s conclusion.
The parade, organized by Cleburne’s American Legion Auxiliary Unit 50, begins at Wren Place Retirement Community, 814 Woodard Ave. The parade will then move on at 10:30 a.m. to Heritage Trails Nursing & Rehabilitation, 301 Lincoln Park Drive and then at 11 a.m. to the Cleburne Chamber of Commerce, 1511 W. Henderson St.
The parade will assemble at 9:45 a.m. at Calvary Baptist Church, 700 Woodard Ave., and disembark from there.
“It is an honor and privilege to take the time to remind Johnson County’s remaining World War II veterans that they are not forgotten,” said Marty Peters, past state president of ALA and Unit 50 member. “They are recognized as heroes and are appreciated for all they did to keep America free by their service to our country.”
U.S Army veteran Dale Gregory, who participated in the Battle of the Bulge, and U.S. Navy veteran Wesley “Churn” Martin will be honored during the Wren House stop.
U.S. Marine veteran Robert Stewart and U.S. Army veteran Johnny Boyd will be honored during the Heritage Trails stop.
To be honored at the chamber are U.S. Army veteran Richard Stanley, U.S. Navy veteran Henry “Grady” Cheek and U.S. Army Air Corp veteran Rick Blaine who served as a P51 fighter pilot in the Pacific Theater.
Stanley, who also participated in the Battle of the Bulge was on hand to be honored during Tuesday’s meeting of the Cleburne City Council.
In addition to ALA Unit 50 members, members of American Legion Post 50, Sons of American Legion Squadron 50 and Chapter 50 of American Legion Riders will participate in the parade as will members of the Cleburne Police Department, Cleburne Fire Department and Johnson County Sheriff’s Office. State Sen. Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury, and state Rep. DeWayne Burns, R-Cleburne will be on hand as will other officials.
Residents are urged to attend the events. Residents may, provided they wear face masks, greet and thank the veterans gathered at the chamber.
“Our organization has existed for 100 years to assist, honor and recognize our veterans from all wars,” ALA Unit 50 President Nelda Grande said. “We simply could not allow this anniversary to go by unrecognized. We will have such few opportunities to pay tribute to our World War II veterans as they are all in their 90s. They are my heroes.”
Peters and Grande urged anyone who knows of any other World War II veterans in Johnson County to contact Peters at 817-641-0052 so that they too can be recognized on Wednesday.