“We think this will be the area’s first parade specifically focused on the newest generation of veterans. We want to extend an open invitation to all area Global War on Terror vets—all ranks and all services—to come and be publicly recognized for their service and dedication to the nation,” said Paul Fanning, Malta resident and retired Army National Guard Lieutenant Colonel. “Our plan is to create one special marching formation comprised of vets from the different service branches and have them march together. We also plan to have a ride for any injured or disabled vet who needs or requests this on a float or support vehicle,” said Fanning.
And while the emphasis is on the newer vets, the committee wants everyone to know all vets of all wars and eras are welcome and encouraged to join in as well. The Malta Veterans Committee is asking area veterans and family members to contact them or the Town of Malta’s Department of Parks & Recreation directly to sign up. In addition to the veterans, Malta hopes military families and area groups and organizations at large that have supported the military and veterans community over the years will also come to participate or cheer our veterans on. The parade route offers plenty of space for groups to stake out and cheer from.
The Malta’s Veterans Committee has been organizing parades on the Saturday preceding the 9-11 commemoration in recent years. This year Malta’s town council asked the committee to focus on the Armed Forces Day in May and the committee felt that this was the time to hold a special salute for those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and those other regions considered a War on Terror area of operation.
The parade is set to begin at 10 a.m. and will start at the Malta Community Center on Bayberry Drive It will proceed south on Route 9 through the first round about at the intersection with Route 67. The distance is about one mile and the committee has already lined up school bands, area fire departments and first response agencies that have supported the Patriot Day parades in the past.