The following is a press release from the West Chester Veterans Council.
You are cordially invited to march with the West Chester area veterans in the Veterans Day Parade to be held on Sunday, 11 November 2012, and to attend the Memorial Ceremony at the Veterans Plaza at the end of the parade. The parade will marshal starting at 1 p.m. on Gay Street at Darlington Street. Step off for the parade will be at 2 p.m. The memorial ceremony will begin approximately at 3 pm.
For the past few years, The Veteran’s Day Parade has operated under the radar in the town of West Chester. We would like to educate the West Chester community about what The Veteran’s Day Parade is all about and how we can broaden the outreach and participation that comes with the parade.
Our focus is to reach out to the younger generation so they can really know and appreciate the meaning behind The Veteran’s Day Parade. We have a five-point plan in place to accomplish this (Education, Awareness, Appreciation, Sponsorship, and Community).
Our final goal is to have a parade that reflects the caring and appreciation of the community that rival the outpouring of support shown by communities in the area. West Chester is a county seat of the Chester County and has the largest veteran population of all the neighborhoods. The Veteran’s Day Parade should reflect the same attention as any other fair or holiday that receives large crowds in West Chester. To reach and accomplish the above goals, we are working with the West Chester Veteran’s Council to assist them in making this possible.
1. Education: We need to educate people about what The Veteran’s Day Parade is all about and get them to come give their support. We will reach this goal by recruiting young students, members of the community, and residents of West Chester. The way to do this is to have a couple of open houses where people can meet, sign up, volunteer, and connect. This is a way for people to come together and share ideas, influence, and grow the direction of the movement. We want to create a buzz for a worth-while cause. When we talk about The Veteran’s Day Parade, we are talking about the American fabric of life. Everyone knows someone who has taken part in WWl, WWll, or the Vietnam War and helped protect our country to make it the greatest place in the world.
2. Awareness: We need to let people know where and when the parade is. This will give people the opportunity for time to prepare for it. They can invite friends and family and participate in a really important yearly event. We can implement this through volunteers who will hand out flyers and door hangers with the date and time on it. Business can decorate their buildings, and we can invite newspapers to print out information for the media. We can involve the University Radio and TV to invite students to celebrate this important day.
3. Appreciation: This is a natural reflection after being educated about The Veteran’s Day Parade and why we celebrate it. We realize that friends, family, and community played a key role in all aspects of protecting our country. This is a day to honor them and their contributions and sacrifices they made to make this country such a great place. We can accomplish this through the help of many people. When we see neighbors, co-workers, family, and friends come together, we realize that we are here for a common cause. This shows how the community supports and honors its own veterans in a special way. This can be done by cheering on the sideline, shaking the veterans’ hands and thanking them. We can donate and visit more memorials and sites. We can wear pins, dress up businesses, and hold flags and signs. We are being a part of something bigger than ourselves.
4. Sponsorship: This is more than just donating money. It is being involved in any capacity including individuals, groups, and organizations. We can make this happen by sending out letters, encouraging people to participate, and donating directly to the Veterans of Foreign Wars or the American Legion.
5. Community: The meaning of community is where friends, family, and neighbors who live in a common area come together and participate and support each other for causes greater than themselves. It is a reflection of how we want to teach our younger generation, what it means to celebrate and reflect on positive events such as honoring our veterans.
All of the objectives that we have outlined can only be possible with a positive and forward-thinking approach. The energy is created by bringing like-minded individuals who volunteer their time and efforts to support and share our veteran’s council in a special way. In order to make everything come together from just words on paper, we need enthusiastic, energetic individuals who take time and energy to reach out and come together to put people and plans together in order to coordinate successful outcomes for events and meetings.
Our ultimate goal by putting this five-point plan together is to create a long-standing, enduring commitment by the community to reflect and honor those veterans who have given so much of themselves for us. You have to start somewhere to build a dream!