— We watched with pride Monday as the Cass County community showed its appreciation and respect for our veterans on Veterans Day.
The downtown streets were filled with flag-waving men, women and children honoring veterans as they passed by during the annual Cass County Veterans Day Parade. While we don’t have actual numbers to pull from, we do know the crowd appeared to be larger than in years past.
We saw people recording the parade on their phones and children hoping for a better view on their parents’ shoulders. We saw people standing in the chilly air for a chance to show their respect for the men and women who fought for their freedom.
Ceremonies got underway at the Cass County Government Building before the parade made its way east on Broadway, led by grand marshal Charles Burks.
The retired U.S. marshal took part in the integration of universities in Mississippi, Georgia and Alabama. He is even depicted in the 1960s Norman Rockwell painting of Ruby Bridges being escorted by U.S. Marshals.
In his military service, Burks spent about one year in a POW camp after being shot down in Germany. He was sent to Stalag 3 and eventually sent to a POW camp near Nuremberg.
After talking with Burks last week and learning his story, we realized that we had a true American hero living among us. We couldn’t think of a better person to be chosen as grand marshal.
“He put his life on the line, not once, but two or three times,” Jim Stokes, president of Cass County Veterans Council, said of Burks.
Now there’s a man who loves his country, and we hope he felt the love coming back to him Monday in Logansport.
In Burks’ honor, and in honor of all veterans, students from All Saints Elementary School walked in the parade, while bands from Lewis Cass, Logansport and Pioneer high schools provided the music. We’re proud our schools are teaching our youth the value of respecting those who have served.
Also representing our up and coming youth was Brandt Carmichael, who performed “God Bless America” outside the City Building where the parade ended with a second ceremony.
We were moved by Superior Court Judge Rick Maughmer’s words during the closing ceremony. Pointing to the youth in the crowd, he called on them to step up and be the next generation of veterans. He talked of why service is so important and why we honor those who have made the sacrifice to perform that service.
In all, we couldn’t be more proud of the community we call home.