Town square prior to the start of the 2017 Veterans Day Parade/ Photo by Brooke Wanser.
By BROOKE WANSER
Bells tolled from the Historic Franklin Presbyterian Church steeple at the corner of 5th Avenue and Main Street and police sirens blared Friday morning as the Veterans Day parade kicked off downtown.
The city of Franklin commemorated Veterans Day for the 17th year with a parade beginning at the Williamson County Archives then heading north up Main Street to town square.
An enormous flag waved gently in the air, stretched between ladders extended from two fire engines at the southern entrance to the square from Main Street. The crisp bite in the air didn’t distract from the beautiful, sunny day as onlookers waved flags. The Williamson County Sheriff flew overhead in a helicopter, and the marching commenced.
The Middle Tennessee State University marching band made an appearance this year, playing the “Marine’s Hymn” as they marched in the beginning of the parade.
Multiple schools participated in the parade, with Franklin, Page and Centennial High School’s junior ROTC groups marching, and several schools’ bands playing.
Groups like the Scottish-American Military Society, American Legion, and the 327th infantry regimen also marched in the parade.
“The most important thing is that we had carloads and carloads, and walking veterans in Franklin and we had our streets lined by so many of our citizens who are thankful for the service that our veterans have given,” Franklin Mayor Ken Moore said.
Mayor Moore said he and Williamson County Mayor Rogers Anderson were each honored for their military service with a quilt, from the Quilts of Valor Foundation, in red, white and blue.
Rebecca Burke, who is running for as a representative for District 61, Bill Lee, who is running for state governor, and Justin Kanew, who is running for Congress, made appearances at the parade.
Connor Wade, a 14-year-old member of the Junior ROTC member at Centennial High School, was on crutches at the parade after undergoing a surgery on his ACL. Connor said, “I wanted to, but they wouldn’t let me walk in the parade.”
Steve Perkins, an Air Force veteran and Franklin resident, helped organize this year’s addition of several vintage British cars as members of the Nashville British Car Club joined the parade.
The club, comprised of British automobile enthusiasts, had several cars in the parade, each with a veteran driving or riding along as the passenger.
Perkins said there was one driver who didn’t make it to the parade: John Oates, of Hall & Oates, didn’t make it to the parade because his car broke down.
“He’s in our club, and he’s a great guy,” Perkins said.
Photos by Brooke Wanser.