Fireworks at Leonard Park Tuesday

This year's Veterans Day events are set for 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 11 in Leonard Park in Gainesville. The celebration includes free barbecue courtesy of VFW Post No. 922 and a fireworks display.

“We can’t all be heroes. Some of us have to stand on the curb and clap as they go by.”

— Will Rogers

A spectacular fireworks display, patriotic music and veterans from World War II and later wars will converge at the Cooke County Veterans War Memorial in Leonard Park at 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 11 to commemorate Veteran’s Day 2014. Sponsored by the Gainesville Parks & Recreation Department, the public is invited to attend the event and remembering those who put their lives on-the-line to protect America throughout history.

 Local VFW Post #1922 and the VFW ladies auxiliary will host a free barbecue dinner afterward in the Leonard Park pavilion.

This year’s guest speakers will include three home grown heroes from North Texas who served during World War II.

Elmo Frost, Gene Bomar and Robert Bauer will speak to the crowd recalling their  World War II service and sharing their recent experience as they traveled together on a Honor Flight trip from the DFW International Airport to Washington D.C.

According to the Honor Flight website, “Honor Flight DFW is a non-profit organization created to honor America’s veterans living in the North Texas area for their service and sacrifices. The all-volunteer group takes veterans to Washington, D.C., for a once-in-a-lifetime, all-expenses-paid trip to reflect at the World War II memorial and to share that moment with the only people who could possibly understand, other veterans.”

 “Of all of the wars in recent memory, it was World War II that truly threatened our very existence as a nation and as a culturally diverse, free society,” the site states. “According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, an estimated 640 W.W.II veterans die each day. Our time to express our thanks to these brave men and women is running out.”

Patrick McCage, director of the Gainesville Parks & Recreation Department, said that it is an honor to organize this event on behalf of the City of Gainesville.

“The Gainesville Parks & Recreation Department and the City of Gainesville extend our gratitude to the service men and women who have given of themselves to ensure we can live and capture all the opportunities possibly afforded to us,” McCage said. “ For if not for our strong military we would not have that option.”

McCage said that In addition to the  guest speakers, the commemoration will feature remarks from Mayor Jim Goldsworthy, special patriotic music selections from the Gainesville High School Choir as well as Lori Hart.

“We will also hear from Sydney McCage, a junior at Lindsay High School recite her narrative “The Price They Paid”.,” he said. “As a new addition to the program, we will also feature the Metroplex United Pipe and Drum Corp.”

“The commemoration will end with the fireworks.”

“Every day, and I do mean every day, I'm thankful and overwhelmed of what our military stands for, protecting our freedom,”  McCage said. “God Bless America and God Bless Gainesville, Texas.”

 As a reminder, the roadway in front of the memorial will close at approximately 5:15 p.m. and those attending are encouraged to come early with parking available in Leonard Park or across the street in the vacant lot.

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