If not for these


Young and old came to Oneonta on Veterans Day and paid tribute to the few remaining Blount County World War II veterans and to all those who have served in wars since then.

Little ones jumped and squealed at the big fire engines, floats, and military vehicles. Their parents smiled and waved at the oldtimers on the floats. Some who lived through it beamed with pride, others cried inside. They remembered those they loved who did not come back.

Amy Rhudy, parade organizer, said the event was even bigger than last year’s. Float after float and band after band moved flawlessly west down Second Avenue, south on First Street, then back east on First Avenue. Hundreds, perhaps even thousands, lined the streets and waved American flags as the parade passed. The young ones didn’t fully understand what was going on, they only knew this was one of the most exciting days they had seen.

Who are these people so deeply revered? They are the conscience of America. They are the ones who did the right thing for their country at the right time. It was not what was beneficial or profitable to them personally, but what was required to protect the freedom on which our country was founded. They sacrificed what they were, for what our nation was to become.

A parade through town cannot begin to repay them, but it can show them we sincerely wish we could. – wt