"I just wanted to show the community of Antioch's appreciation for what our veterans have done and are doing for us, and nothing like that was happening," Antioch City Councilman Jim Davis said of the Memorial Day observances he began in the city eight years ago. "It's time to take it one step further."
Or, in this case, thousands of steps further. Davis is now spearheading a group of veterans' groups, active service members and residents, putting together the city's first Veterans Day Parade through the streets of downtown Antioch. Participants will be welcomed from all across East County, and the possibilities for the event are just being worked out.
Anyone interested in helping with the project is encouraged to attend a planning session on Saturday, April 5, at 9 a.m. in the Nick Rodriguez Community Center, 213 F St. in Antioch. Organizers are specifically looking for people interested in helping with volunteers, logistics, publicity and fundraising.
This planning meeting is not intended for potential parade participants, as details of the event still need to be worked out. Applications for parade entries are expected to be available in the coming weeks, however, and interest has already been shown by a number of East County school marching bands, veterans organizations, owners of military vehicles and re-enactment groups.
The goal of the event, however, has been nailed down: "The mission of the Antioch Veterans Day Parade is to provide a venue and facilitate an annual, patriotic and historic celebration to recognize and commemorate the living and lost veterans and heroes of past wars for their service and sacrifice through the participation of the local ancillary civilian and military communities."
For more information, contact Davis at 757-2020.