American flag

A parade scheduled today to honor World War II veterans and the 75th anniversary of that war’s end has been moved to Thursday.

“We made the decision to move the parade forward a day because of weather considerations,” American Legion Auxiliary Past State President and ALA Unit 50 member Marty Peters said. “The forecast has rain pouring all day today but it should be better tomorrow. We wanted to make sure we have a great parade celebration with as many people as possible coming out to see it.”

The parade will begin as originally scheduled at 10 a.m. with three Cleburne stops included.

The parade, organized by Cleburne’s ALA Unit 50 will begin at Wren Place Retirement Community, 814 Woodard Ave. The parade will continue on to a 10:30 a.m. stop at Heritage Trails Nursing & Rehabilitation, 301 Lincoln Park Drive and conclude with an 11 a.m. stop at the Cleburne Chamber of Commerce, 1511 W. Henderson St.

Parade participants will assemble at 9:45 a.m. at Calvary Baptist Church, 700 Woodard Ave., and disembark from there.

In addition to ALA 50 members, members of American Legion Post 50, Sons of American Legion Squadron 50 and 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 local officials.

“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,” Peters said. “They are recognized as heroes and are appreciated for all the did to keep America free by their service to our country.

“It is also important that we remember and honor the families of World War II who remained home but made many sacrifices of their own throughout the war.”

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 honored last week by the Cleburne City Council.

Residents are urged to attend the parade and may, provided they wear face masks and practice social distancing, 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 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.”

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