Photo Gallery | Bennington celebrates Veterans Day with annual parade
BENNINGTON — The annual Bennington Veterans Day parade filled the local streets with music on Wednesday, as residents came out to honor those who have served in the U.S. armed forces.
Attendance along the parade route, which started on Main Street at the former middle school before turning down North Street and continuing on to the Vermont Veterans Home, was down from years past, likely due to the rain. At the Veterans Home, Josie Colvin and Dorothy Halvorsen of the Gold Star Mothers placed a wreath on the memorial on the front lawn, in memory of all the servicemen and women who had given their lives and thus were not able to be there in person. Two trumpets from the Mount Anthony Union High School band played "Taps" during this part of the ceremony.
The parade lineup was led by cars from the Bennington Police Department and the Bennington County Sheriff's Department. They were followed by the Bennington Chapter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Gold Star Mothers, the MAUHS marching band, the Bennington chapter of the Disabled American Veterans, the Bennington chapter of the Vietnam Veterans of America, a truck from Wassick Tires, a van from the Vermont Veterans Home, the Whirling Twirlers, the Bennington chapter of the Elks, students from the Village School of North Bennington, members of the Girl Scouts, and, finally, trucks from the Bennington Rescue Squad, the Bennington Rural Volunteer Fire Department, the Pownal Valley Fire Department, and the Bennington Village Fire Department.
The American Gold Star Mothers Inc. was founded shortly after World War I, to provide support for mothers who had lost their sons or daughters during the war. The organization is open to any mother who has lost a child in service to the United States. The holiday Gold Star Mothers Day is observed on the last Sunday in September across the U.S.
Veterans Day dates back to Nov. 11, 1918, when the United States signed the Armistice with Germany, officially ending World War I. The next year, president Woodrow Wilson declared that Nov. 11, 1919 would be called Armistice Day. A Congressional act in 1938 declared the 11th of November as a legal holiday, Armistice Day, each year. In 1954, under president Dwight Eisenhower, the name of the holiday was changed to Veterans Day, and the holiday changed to honor all veterans.