by Michelle Stacy-Schroeder, Recreation Services Administrative Supervisor, City of Prescott
On a cold November morning in 1918, the Allied Forces signed an Armistice Treaty in Versailles, France, ending World War I. The treaty was signed Nov. 11, 1918 at 11 a.m.
A year later, President Woodrow Wilson, commemorated the first Armistice Day by stating:
“To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations… .”
In 1954, Armistice Day officially was renamed Veterans Day.
For many years, the Northern Arizona VA held a Veterans Day Parade on their Prescott campus. Military Service organizations, car clubs, nonprofits and commercial businesses participated while hundreds of community members sat along the parade route to watch, cheer and pay tribute to veterans.
In 2013, the parade was moved to downtown Prescott around the Yavapai County Courthouse Plaza. It is now organized by the City of Prescott Recreation Services Department.
The number of entries has grown significantly, making it one of the largest veteran parades in Arizona — well over 100 entries! And it’s no surprise considering the Quad City area has one of the largest populations of veterans in the state!
In 2016, I took over as parade coordinator. Being an eight-year Army Veteran myself, it has allowed me to add a special significance to the Veterans Day Parade that only those whose served can truly understand.
The City of Prescott has a great group of community volunteers, along with generous support from the Northern Arizona VA, Arizona Public Service (APS) and commercial businesses that help to put on the parade.
This year, the parade theme is: Vietnam Veterans: To those that served, and the 58,479 that never made it home — Remember & Respect.
Festivities will be Friday, Nov. 11, beginning with an opening ceremony at 10:30 a.m. on the main stage at the intersection of Cortez and Union streets. The parade will begin at 11 a.m.
For more information about the parade or to participate, contact me at email@example.com or visit www.prescott-az.gov.