PARKERSBURG - Taking advantage of the nice weather, hundreds milled around City Park, hundreds more lined the sidewalks of Washington Avenue during Monday's Veterans Day parade.
About 1,000 people gathered at City Park Monday morning for the annual Veterans Day ceremonies.
David Huffman, a local attorney and Marine Corps veteran of the Vietnam War, was the featured speaker. Dressed in a suit, Huffman said he didn't feel much like a veteran.
Photo by Jody Murphy
Amellia Jackson, 10, Sara Dennis, 9, and Aiden Rader, 11, take part in the Veterans Day Parade on Washington Avenue Monday.
"I look too much like an attorney," he joked.
Huffman spoke of the political discourse in the country that has divided Americans.
"No matter our differences, we all love America," he said.
Veterans groups from around the county participated in the parade, along with the bands from Parkersburg, Parkersburg South and Williamstown high schools.
Mayors Bob Newell and David Nohe of Parkersburg and Vienna, respectively, read a joint proclamation for the day. Newell said the turnout was one of the largest he'd ever seen.
The event was emceed by WTAP General Manager Roger Sheppard.
Clem Dowler, a World War II veteran, served as parade marshal and also spoke. Dowler told the audience about attending night school to qualify for duty on a B-17 bomber, instead of becoming a cook or a baker.
A month later, Dowler's plane was shot down in Nazi-occupied France. Dowler, who suffered a broken foot parachuting from his downed plane, recalled hiding in the woods in France, lying in wet leaves, thinking how dumb he had been.
"I could of been a cook or a baker," he said.
Sheppard asked Dowler if he was a good cook.
"No," Dowler said.