By Katharine Edelen
Both the city of Springfield and Ozarks Technical Community College have set aside time and resources to honor America’s military service members this weekend.
Springfield Missouri’s annual Veterans’ Day parade was held on Nov. 5, starting at Jordan Valley Park winding around parts of downtown.
Every year OTC has a celebration in the Atrium to honor Veterans’ Day. This year’s ceremony was Nov. 11 at 11 a.m.
“Many different veterans have been asked to speak,” says Loren Lundstrom, a retired Lt. Colonel in the United States Air Force and dean of student development. “I have spoken at four of these events in the 12 years i have worked at OTC. I think the best way to celebrate Veterans’ Day is by the awards that are made available in our community because it demonstrates how veterans’ have given to the community even after service.”
“Veterans’ Day is one of the most important things to celebrate because everyone involved gave so much,” Matthew Hudson, dean of technical education, said.
Springfield had their annual Veterans’ Day Parade Nov. 5. The Mayor introduced Grand and Deputy Marshals at Springfield Vision Center downtown at 9:00 a.m., and a parachute team jumped down into the lot next door to Vision Center at 9:30 a.m.
The parade is a great way to help remind people in the public about the importance of Veterans’ Day, Lundstrom said. The parade helps to remind the public about the sacrifices that were made.
“As a veteran myself i find it more interesting and fun to meet other veterans than to march in the parade,” Lundstrom said, adding that the parade is a great way for families with and without veterans to get together and celebrate all the one lost and still with us.
Many groups got involved in the parade, including Boys & Girls Scout troops, Hillcrest’s JROTC, Army Reserve, Honor Flight of the Ozarks, and the OTC Student Veteran Organization.
“We are working on a very special Veterans’ Day celebrate coming in 2018 that will be the Centennial Celebration of 100 years with the ending of WWI,” said Robert Crampton, a parade organizer who works with Volunteers for Outdoor Missouri, Inc. “ My father and neighbor were both soldiers in that war. As a young boy i recall talking to my neighbor about the Great War to End All Wars.”