On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, a truce, or temporary end of aggressions, was declared between the Allied nations and the Triple Alliance in the First World War. The following year this date was commemorated as Armistice Day. After World War II and the Korean War, Armistice Day became known as Veterans’ Day, dedicated to American veterans of all wars.
Ninety-five years later, the wars continue and we continue to honor those who have fought to secure our freedom and rights. We hold these men and women in our hearts and in our prayers; we thank them at military remembrances and… we visit their gravesites.
On November 9th, 2013 we will have our own remembrance with our Athens Veterans’ Day Parade. Limestone County residents can show their support for our veterans by lining the streets, making signs and waving flags along the Parade route. “All Veterans wrote a blank check, they vowed to protect our freedoms and serve our country, to secure the life we all enjoy,” said Alabama Veterans Museum Director & Master Sergeant, Sandra Thompson.”
This year’s Veterans’ Day Parade pays tribute to three admirable and very innovative women as our Grand Marshals. Ms. Alice Rogers, a WWII Cadet Nurse, Ms. Carmen Montgomery, a former member of the Army Nurse Corps, and the Honorary Grand Marshal, Mrs. Louise Steel.
Ms. Carmen Montgomery joined the Corps as a second lieutenant in 1944 and worked as a casual nurse and a surgical nurse in stations and field hospitals all over Europe during the war. Her duty stations included Italy, Austria, Germany and France. She earned her Battle Star during the Battle of the Bulge. She became a physical therapist and was instrumental in the eradication of polio.
Ms. Alice Rogers was a member of the Nurse Cadet Corps during the final years of World War II, stationed at Woodrow Wilson Army Hospital in Stanton, Va. Alice said, “I finished training in 1943-44, and served at Newton B. Baker Hospital in Martinsburg, W.V. At Baker we cared for paralyzed soldiers who had been shot in the back. I have always used my Army training during my civilian life in nursing. We were taught to improvise what we needed and didn’t have.”
Mrs. Louise Steele is a lifelong resident of Limestone County. She grew up in Lester where she is an owner and member of the Treasured Forest organization. She is a graduate of Athens State and taught school in the Tanner area. She has been a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution since April 16th, 1966.
Also riding in the Athens Veterans Day Parade will be Maj. Gen. David L. Mann, the commanding general for the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command and Congressman Mo Brooks.
After the parade everyone is invited to the Vietnam Veterans’ Building on Elm Street for free chicken stew.
Other Veteran related activities coming up are:
The Alabama Veterans’ Museum & Archive’s monthly coffee for veterans and families of veterans, held at the museum on November 2nd at 8:00 AM.
East Limestone High School organization, “Support our Soldiers,” will have their Veterans Day program on Friday, November 8th. They will serve breakfast for the veterans at 8:30 and the show will start at 9.
Ardmore Veterans’ Organization annual Veterans’ Day Ceremony and chicken stew November 12th at 10:30 AM at the Ardmore, TN Annex building located at 26349 Main Street. Contact 931-427-2124.
To participate in the Veterans’ Day Parade contact the Veterans Museum Mon-Sat 9-3, 256-771-7578, or email Sandy Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact Roxanne Haggermaker at 256-374-2073. A $25 entry donation is appreciated.
For information about the above events and other Athens-Limestone County events, call 256-232-5411/256-867-1438 or visit our website www.VisitAthensAL.com.
By: Teresa Todd, President, Athens-Limestone County Tourism Association