In Sanctuary, we are grateful to the men and women who serve our country, so Veteran’s Day is a big celebration. We never forget the sacrifices they made to protect and defend us and others all over the world.
Any celebration means a parade, of course!
Our Grand Marshal Paul Taggart leads the procession. He was the mayor of Sanctuary for two terms, and everyone loves him. (He’s also handsome, sexy, and single which explains part of the love.) Sometimes the current mayor, Rodney Loudermilk, gets a little bent out of shape that Paul always gets chosen as Grand Marshal, but he’s too smart to complain. After all, Rodney still gets to make the big speech before the cookout begins.
A parade needs…a marching band.
And of course, the stars of the day: our veterans, riding on their own float.
The folks of Sanctuary add their own special touches. Sharon Sydenstricker gets one of her grooms to dress up fancy and ride a Healing Springs Stables horse down Washington Street. (Who picks up the manure is a whole other discussion.) Of course, you never know if the horse Sharon sends to the parade might be someone’s whisper horse, like Claire’s in TAKE ME HOME.
The vet techs from Dr. Tim’s (the hero of TAKE ME HOME!) Sanctuary Veterinary Hospital show off the dogs up for adoption. By the end of the day, every single one of them finds a home.
After the parade, folks gather at the West Virginia State Fairgrounds to hear Mayor Rodney’s speech. He calls out the name of each man and woman who served and thanks them personally. Right now, eleven veterans from all branches of service live in Sanctuary. The oldest, Wayne Herndon, was a destroyer commander in World War II. He has a medal for sinking a Japanese submarine. The cheering and applause always goes on so long Rodney has to shush the crowd to announce the start of the cookout. That’s saying something since by then folks are hungry for some good home-style cooking.
What’s your favorite part of a parade? The band? The floats? The vehicles? The critters? Let me know!
(You can spend more time in Sanctuary, WV, within the pages of TAKE ME HOME, the first in my Whisper Horse series. It’s on sale now!)