Posted 3 years ago

By Post Staff

By Pete Mortaro, BBCO Veterans Service Officer

The organizers of the “Veterans Patriotic Weekend” would like to take this opportunity to say THANK YOU, for being a part of this great weekend that honored all Veterans for their service and sacrifices. We especially would like to thank all the individual help from the citizens of Alliance and Hemingford that attended the numerous brain storming meetings and the Alliance and Hemingford Businesses for their generosity and support of our Veterans.

This year was the FIRST ANNUAL VETERAN’S DAY PARADE – Our gratitude to everyone is just overwhelming!! We would love to name all of the people involved in the parade…but we’re not exactly sure who was responsible for each float. You know how that goes, there are always numerous people who work behind the scenes to put things together and they may never be actually seen in the parade! We just want to give a very heartfelt thanks to each and every one of you! We could not have pulled it all together without you!! A special thanks to the Kiwanis for helping to organize the parade…what a big job!

A big hand to KCOW Radio Staff for getting the word out and announcing the entrants and to the Alliance Times Herald for the many articles and parade forms that were published prior to the parade.

Also we need to acknowledge and throw out a big “Ooh-rah” to the American Legion for providing coffee and donuts to the entrants of the parade prior to start. A big thanks to the United Methodist Women for providing a warm place to go after the parade for a cup of coffee and a cookie and a wonderful time of fellowship!! Our local soldiers who are currently serving overseas will appreciate all those who stopped by the Church to sign a Christmas card for them as the cards will be included in the Christmas boxes being sent by the Box Butte County Soldier Support Group.

Thanks to the Alliance Police, Box Butte County Sheriff’s Department and to the Alliance Fire Department. Your participation ALWAYS gives a parade that “hometown” feeling. We are indebted to you for your service in keeping us all safe.  Special thanks to John Zerk and the Boy Scouts for handing out flags to the children at the parade to wave as the Veterans rode by; also thanks to the Girl Scouts for handing out fliers for the Veterans Day Patriotic weekend.

To Our Veterans: Where would we be without you? How can we even begin to express our gratitude to you? This parade was to honor and remember your service, to recognize your courage and to show you our deep respect and gratitude for the sacrifices that you have made for us. We pray that each American will take a moment to think of or say a prayer for those men & women who are currently serving our Country…. those currently fighting to defend the freedoms that you as veterans have secured for us. The sacrifices of all Veterans and all military currently serving can never be honored enough.

We are so….. proud of every one of you and we certainly hope you will accept our humble thanks. As quoted by William Arthur Ward:“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it!” So with that said dear Veterans, Our gratitude to you is overwhelming!

What would a parade be without the support of its community? Alliance: thank you for making this the BEST hometown ever!! It was a cold day, but you came out in support of the Veterans and you are appreciated more than you will ever know! We hope that you will look to the challenge for next year and make our SECOND ANNUAL Veterans Day Parade be one of thebiggest and best!! We plan to have a longer parade route from First Street to Tenth Street on and Box Butte, and hopefully have as many groups and businesses as possible to have a float or walk in the parade. Mark your 2013 Calendars now! November 9-10-11, 2013!

We may have a Sunday parade and end the day with a Veterans Tribute at the PAC. Watch for information and come give your thoughts at the organizational meetings next fall.

THANK YOU to the Box Butte County Soldiers Support Group volunteers and the Veterans Service Office for putting together a fantastic Veterans Day program on Sunday, Nov. 11 at 3p.m. at the PAC. WOW! It was AWESOME!!

Thanks to Senior Airman Jennifer Jensen, USAF Reserve and Sgt. Brad Peters, Nebraska Army National Guard for presenting the colors to kick off the program. A special thank you to Mike Glessinger, for being a great emcee and to Greg Friesen for putting together all the pictures of our Veterans displayed on the large screen.

A special, special thank you to Steph’s Studio and Just Shoot Me Photographic for scanning all of the Veterans pictures for FREE. Thank you to Ms. Devan Collins for singing the National Anthem & leading us in God Bless America – we are lucky to have such talent in our hometown.

Thanks to Allen Pannell for leading the Pledge of Allegiance and to Rev. Dr. Stephen Roosa (Navy Veteran) who opened the program with a prayer that touched many hearts.

The following people were our guest speakers and each of them gave a thoughtful, heartwarming speech: Peter Mortaro, BBCVSO; Mayor Fred Feldges; Congressman Adrian Smith; John Hilgert, Director, NE Department of Veteran Affairs; & Lori Rowley, Box Butte County Soldiers Support Group.

A Veteran’s Day program would not be complete without the Alliance High School Band. The music just set the mood and year after year Mr. Dave Rischling and the band never let us down. A sincere thanks to these young ladies and gentlemen for giving our Veterans your best! Also a special thanks to Kacey Horn for her flute solo. It was wonderful!

Thank you also to the Alliance Public Schools for the delicious cake & coffee served after the program in the commons area. Your part in this program just made the day!! Thanks to the Patriot Riders for placing flags on Sunday and for their support and help in the parade!

As Calvin Coolidge so graciously put it: “No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave.”

Again, thanks to all in the community for making this such a big success!

Peter Mortaro, (Veterans Service Office); Dixie Nelson (Chamber of Commerce); Donna Meier (Box Butte County Soldiers Support Group); Sherri Fry (Media); Millie Clark (Media)