WELCH, W.Va. — The number of people attending the McDowell County Veterans Day Parade was down from the thousands that attended during the 1950s and ‘60s when coal was truly king, but the crowd’s spirit was unwavering in support for veterans.
“The Welch parade does it like nobody else,” Lt. Col. David Vandevander said from the speakers dais on McDowell Street. This year marked the 96th Welch Veteran’s Day Parade. “This parade meant so much to me when I was growing up.”
Vandevander, battalion commander of the 82nd Special Troops Battalion is a native of Kimball. He rode through the parade route with Welch Mayor Reba Honaker, and watched scores of units pass in review.
He expressed his thanks to all of the veterans who have served through the years, and gave a special word of thanks to the many World War II veterans who participated in the parade.
“Our World War II veterans are truly national treasures,” Vandevander said. “Let us take time to thank all of them…