City parade to salute recently returned veterans

Published 12:01 am Sunday, November 4, 2007

NATCHEZ — This year’s Veteran’s Day parade will have a special focus.

The parade, Nov. 10, will be in of honor recently retuned veterans from the global war on terror.

Natchez-Adams County Veterans Service Office director Erle Drane said newly returned veterans deserve the community’s praise.

Email newsletter signup

“Military service is not a job, it’s a high calling,” he said. “We want new veterans coming back to know they are appreciated and get the highest respect.”

For several weeks Drane has been busy trying to organize the city’s parade.

Drane has been contacting local military groups and National Guard units trying to find recently returned veterans.

Drane is also especially determined to make this year’s parade successful since Natchez has not had Veteran’s Day parade in the last few years.

Drane said, for reasons unknown, no one put in the time to organize a parade in the past few years.

Drane, determined not to let another year pass with no parade, enlisted the help of retired Col. John Curran, a Natchez High School R.O.T.C. instructor.

Curran said Drane has showed great determination in generating buzz for this year’s parade.

And Curran, Drane said, has been doing quite a bit of legwork himself.

“He has made about a million phone calls and gotten our permits together,” Drane said.

Curran said he has been contacting all local civic organizations, as well as R.O.T.C. units in Louisiana and surrounding counties.

Drane called the upcoming parade a Miss-Lou event.

“We want everyone to come out,” he said.

But even though both men said they have contacted numerous groups and clubs, neither is sure how many people to expect at Saturday’s parade.

Curran said he has not gotten many firm commitments from groups he has contacted.

“Natchez is a party town,” Drane said. “People just show up.”

However both men did say they were confident the community would come out to support veterans new and old.

“This is their time,” Curran said.

While Veteran’s Day is actually on Nov. 11, it will be celebrated on Saturday Nov. 10.

Drane said the parade was moved to Saturday so it would not interfere with any religious services.

If anyone would like participate in Saturday’s parade or needs more information call Drane at 601-445-8706.