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Vietnam War Veterans Focus of This Year's Parade

Grand Marshall for the event recipient of two Silver Stars, two Purple Hearts and the Navy Distinguished Service Medal for his service in Vietnam.

The third annual Greater Manassas Veteran's Day Parade will take place this Saturday in Old Town from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The local event is the . Most events that recognize and celebrate our veterans occur on Memorial Day.

Seven Grand Marshall's will be featured at this year's event, which includes a Vietnam War era theme. The first year the parade had a WW II theme, and last year's parade was centered around the Korean War.

The Grand Marshall's are all highly-decorated Vietnam War veteran's, who were chosen by a Parade Committee back in September, including Rear Admiral Robert H. Shumaker from the United States Navy. Shumaker was a POW for eight years in Vietnam's famous 'Hanoi Hilton' POW camp. He is the recipient of two Silver Stars, two Purple Hearts and the Navy Distinguished Service Medal.

The Marshalls chosen all reside in the area, including Manassas, Centreville and Clifton.

A motorcade of Manassas City Police Officers will kick off the parade with a ride through the route and the hour-long parade will begin.

There are five divisions participating in the parade with seven to 17 groups in each division that will travel down Center street ending just past the Harris Pavilion. 

There will be marching bands, Vietnam-era military vehicles and re-enactors. Spectators can also expect performances by Vietnamese and Korean cultural groups in costume throughout the parade.

There will be a 'Welcome Home Community' event following the parade at the Harris Pavilion, which will have live bands and dancers performing to '60s era music and plenty of good food.

"The 'Welcome Home' party is the greatest way to demonstrate our binding appreciation to our area's Vietnam-era Veteran's," said Volunteer for the event, Russ Keating. "The event is especially meaningful this year as it is the 30th anniversary of the opening of the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial."

Over 20 sponsors put up over $20,000 to hold this year's parade, which is free to the public. The parade is expected to attract over 2,500 people from all around the area.

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