The event was hosted by a local church as a way to honor servicemen and women around the July 4th holiday.
Those participating in started with a parade which traveled from the American Legion, to Lincoln Park, and back to the church where many supporters were waiting with flags and signs of support. Members of the Marine Corps played their favorite military tunes while waving to the crowds showing support.
All evening, those in attendance could watch a film, hear speakers, and if you’re a veteran, get a free haircut.
Grace Anglican Church Member Doug Olson tells WGIL the idea was hatched through a church committee.
“Slowly but surely, the committees went from five, ten, to forty people from all around the community and it was really inspiring, you know, to see a first time event that drew people from all walks of life and all different things,” says Olson.
The film shown yesterday featured an individual present during the Patriotic Day festivities. Harold Flinn was a member of the Army during World War II and tells WGIL that his division worked through deception. So much so, many of their operations were kept secret until the 90’s.
“We’d go out at night and set up and everything and the best one we did was the crossing of the Rhine and they said we said 10-thousand lives by that because we set up and operated for a couple of days there,” says Flinn.
Representatives of the VFW dedicated a flag as part of the festivities.
Church members say that although it was the first Patriotic Day, they were able to gain several ideas to grow the event for next year.
Those riding in the military vehicles during the parade said they appreciated the show of support from area residents.