LYNCHBURG, Va. - Joshua Smith, 24, a first-year student at Liberty University, served as a Navy corpsman for five years.
The Veterans Day parade on Saturday at Liberty University will be his first.
“Growing up I always went to Veterans Day parades, Memorial Day parades. That was really the extent of it. This is the first time I’m going to be involved in a parade for veterans and helping to coordinate it,” Smith said.
Last year’s parade was the first in almost 80 years in which the the Lynchburg community celebrated veterans.
This year's parade organizers said the tradition must continue.
“We’re going to celebrate the end of World War I, tomorrow, which is the 100th anniversary from that conflict. And we’re also going to celebrate the 243rd birthday of the Marine Corps,” Charles Olsen, president of the Lynchburg Area Veterans Council, said.
The Lynchburg Area Veterans Council is working with Liberty University to prepare the campus and make it ready to receive thousands of onlookers.
“It’s going to be a beautiful day. We’re going to have lots of vendors out, and lots of floats and great things to see,” said Jonathan Norman the veterans manager and student liaison for the Office of Military Affairs at Liberty.
Pre-parade festivities will begin Saturday at 10:30 a.m. in front of the Liberty bookstore and flyover planes will kick off the parade.
“We want them to go home with full hearts-- hearts (of) patriotism and, I guess, gratitude for having their freedoms because they did come at a cost,” Olsen said.
Liberty has planned a week of activities for local veterans. Click the link below for the full schedule.
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