"Three Score and Forever More, Alpharetta Honors Veterans," is the them of the 60th annual Old Soldiers Day Parade on Saturday, Aug. 4.
The and City of Alpharetta will present the parade recognizing the living memory of All Veterans of All Wars, according to a news release from the city. This year it will be dedicated to the memory of the service and sacrifice of the U.S. Armed Forces who served in the Korean War.
Old Soldiers Day Schedule
- 9:15 a.m. – Alpharetta City Band performance
- 10 a.m. – Introduction of Guests
- 10:30 a.m. – Patriotic parade begins.
The Old Soldiers Day Parade will start down Milton Avenue, turning south on Main Street (Hwy. 9) at . It travels down South Main Street to Old Milton Parkway, making a right to go west past Wills Park and turning onto Wills Road to end at the American Legion Post 201.
The Grand Marshall and Keynote Speaker at the 2012 parade is Major General Gerald Carey USAF Ret. He entered active military duty 60 years ago after graduating from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. During his 30 years in the Air Force, he saw Foreign Service in Korea, Japan and Vietnam. During his year in Vietnam he flew 163 combat missions in Laos and North Vietnam. His military awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, three Distinguished Flying Crosses and fourteen Air Medals.
Organizers expect to have approximately 150 units in the parade line-up, consisting of marching military units, the Shriners, floats, bands, wagons, classic cars, clowns, prizes and the kids' favorite, candy. The celebration continues with entertainment and children’s activities at the American Legion Post 201, where The Varsity will serve up free hot dogs and American Legion Post 201 will provide free soft drinks.
The 60th Old Soldiers Day Parade sponsors include: American Legion Post 201; City of Alpharetta; The Varsity; Bank of North Georgia; Car Store; Carl Black of Roswell; Chambrel of Roswell: Kroger; Northside Chapel Funeral Directors; Revue & News; Marietta Classic Glass Corvette Club; ADP; Enterprise Rent-a-Car; Jackson Healthcare LLC; Midway Lumber; Lusk & Company, Inc.; Mazzy’s Sports Bar & Grill; News/Talk 750 WSB; VFW Post 9143; Alpharetta Rotary Club; Alpha Office Products and WGKA 920 AM.
The city submitted this history of Old Soldiers Day with its news release:
The Old Soldiers Day Parade first began in 1865 after the guns were silenced in the War Between the States. The Confederate Soldiers living in and around Milton County, now part of Fulton County, established a time each year to relive a fellowship born of war. They came from miles around by horse, wagon and on foot to a very small town called Alpharetta. Many of them were still living in Alpharetta when the young soldiers of World War I returned to their homes in Milton County. Best evidence would indicate that sometime during 1920 the elderly Confederate Soldiers invited the “Young-uns,” the new veterans of World War I, to assemble to the rear and parade with them down Main Street of Alpharetta. They marched together for only a few years until most were gone and the event faded during the Depression.
Twenty-eight years later, in 1952, a small group of men in Alpharetta from American Legion Post 201 re-dedicated the Old Soldiers Day Parade and began having a parade again in downtown Alpharetta. This would be a tribute and a living memorial to All Veterans of All Wars. Thanks to these few men and their belief in keeping this memorable tradition alive, the parade has become an annual celebration marking 60 consecutive years to date.
The public is invited to this annual tradition to recognize the living memory of All Veterans of All Wars. For more information, contact the American Legion Post 201.