Veterans Day Parade Set for Nov. 11 in Nashua
Parade start time was pushed back this year to accommodate downtown churchgoers.
Sunday in Nashua is where tradition meets compromise, as the annual Veterans Day Parade will get off to a different kind of start.
"It was the mayor's suggestion that we start the parade at Holman Stadium at 11:11 a.m. instead of 10:30, and meet at City Hall at the end," said parade organizer, Frank "Skip" Sousa.
The compromise was necessary after several downtown churches complained that timing of the annual parade interferes with church services.
Sousa said in past years, the timing was meant to allow the parade procession to make its way to City Hall by 11:11 a.m. – a commemoration of the original Armistice Day.
This year, VFW Post #483 Commander Barry Palmer will start the festivities with a brief explanation of the importance of remembering those who have served, followed by a rifle salute.
"Not only will it give local churches a chance to exit before the parade gets going, but it also gives us the opportunity to stress the importance of the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month," Sousa said. "We older folks remember the significance of Armistace Day, but it will give the younger folks a chance to think a little bit."
Armistice Day was originally established on Nov. 11, 1918, to commemorates the armistice – or agreement to end fighting in war time – signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany in France. The ceasefire took effect at eleven o'clock in the morning on the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month" of 1918. [See U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs for more.]
After World War II, the name of the holiday was changed to Veterans Day in the United States, and to Remembrance Day in the countries of the British Commonwealth of Nations. Armistice Day remains an official holiday in France and Belgium.
Sousa said this year parade organizers have also invited vendors to set up along the parade route, selling hot dogs and wares, to add some festivity to the occasion, which normally includes marching groups representing several organizations from around the city.