EAST HELENA — East Helena’s annual Memorial Day Parade made its way down East Main Street Monday morning, honoring those who sacrificed for their country.
“There's lots of us that have served that are very lucky to have been able to come back home to our families and our communities. And just want to be able to remember all those that have not been able to,” says veteran Zack Larson.
The parade featured attendees from Sons & Daughters of the American Revolution, members of East Helena’s VFW, Boy Scouts, and the Pipes & Drums of the Black Devils, among others.
The parade made its way down East Main and concluded at the military veterans' memorial in Main Street park where multiple speeches were given. Among those who spoke at the monument was East Helena Mayor, Kelly Harris. Harris reminded folks of the importance of this day and how we can all honor those who have died for this country, not just on Memorial Day, but every day.
“Those we’re memorializing today, those people that gave their lives for our country, we lose a lot of that spirit. And those are the people that don't come home, and don't volunteer for things, and don't, you know, give their time. And I think we need to look at ourselves and say that this is our, my opportunity to truly memorialize them, not just today, not just with speeches and parades, but in how I act and how I operate my day-to-day life,” says Harris.
Tom Johnson, a veteran who gave more than 4 decades in service, says that it’s vital to remember our history in order not to repeat it.
“...because if we don't keep those folks in our hearts and mind, you kind of lose a legacy,” says Johnson.