SAN MARCOS – The public is invited to join a city-wide salute to military veterans that kicks off in downtown San Marcos at 9 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 8.
Kids of all ages are invited to bring their bikes down to the San Marcos Kiwanis Club’s area on the square. Kiwanis Club members will help decorate the bikes for the Kids Bicycle Brigade and will escort the group as they ride in the Veterans Day Parade.
And don’t forget the biscuits and gravy that will be served on the Square, also starting at 9 a.m., or the fact that the first 200 youngsters to show up at the Courthouse and find Uncle Sam will receive a free patriotic prize.
San Marcos’ annual Veterans Day Parade will start at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 8, with the parade course including a portion of the downtown courthouse square. Lisa Morris, the San Marcos Parks and Recreation Department’s recreation manager who has led parade organizational efforts, says entries now number more than 77.
Leading the parade will be the three grand marshals riding in convertibles and an honor guard riding on a float immediately behind them.
A community-wide call for nominations of local veterans for grand marshal honors resulted in the nomination of eight men with impressive military and community service records. A five-member nonpartisan committee selected the three nominated World War II veterans to serve as grand marshal after reviewing the nominations.
Grand marshals will be U. S. Marine Corps veteran Elston S. Golson, U.S. Army veteran Bob J. Sappington and Navy veteran Charley Williams.
The Honor Guard will be made up of nominees U. S. Air Force veterans Lt. Col. Robert L. “Bob” Dentino and Major Harry D. Stewart; U.S. Marine Corps veterans Lt. Col. George F. Boemerman and Daniel “Dan” West; and U.S. Army veteran Sgt. 1st Class Gilbert Garcia.
The eight men represent a combined total of more than 90 years of military service in World War II, Korea, Vietnam and Desert Storm, with other service assignments in Lebanon and Thailand. Awards they have received range from the Purple Heart to Commendation Medals and the Humanitarian Service Medal. All eight reside in San Marcos and have compiled impressive community service records here and in other cities where they resided since completing their military service.
The Nov. 8 events are just the beginning of local Veterans Day activities. Here is a sampling from the community, especially the San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District. The San Marcos High School Junior AFROTC will participate in numerous programs across the district.
Other Veterans Day observance activities scheduled include the following:
Sunday, Nov. 9 – Special service and picnic lunch dedicated to veterans at First Christian Church of San Marcos.
Monday, Nov 10 – Freemasons’ U.S. Flag Dedication Ceremony to delegates the four San Marcos elementary schools, 2 p.m., Travis Elementary cafeteria.
Monday, Nov. 10 – Activities at Hernandez Intermediate School include back-to-back assemblies for students, veterans and their families at 8:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. in the Hernandez Cafeteria. Lt. Col. Thomas G. Moore, Texas State’s Military Science professor, will speak. Winners of Hernandez’ annual poster and poetry contests and the “Patriot’s Pen” competition will be presented. The ROTC and school choirs will participate in the program. Hernandez students interviewed a veteran of their choice and created a veteran’s poster. Every 6th grader created a poem honoring veterans and some 6th graders participated in the “Patriots’ Pen” competition. American Legion Post and American Legion Auxiliary Unit 144 judged the poetry and will be judging the posters.
A program is scheduled for 10 a.m. at San Marcos’ Merrill Gardens Assist Living Community with the San Marcos High School Junior AFROTC conducting a POW-MIA and Flag Folding ceremony and the Color Guard performing.
Tuesday, Nov. 11 -The Texas State University Student Foundation will host its annual Veterans Day ceremony at 10:45 a.m. on the Quad. The Army and Air Force ROTC detachments will post and retire the colors and the Commemorative Air Force will perform a fly over at the conclusion of the ceremony at 11 a.m. This year’s guest speaker will be William Clay Patterson who is in the process of forming Bobcat Veterans, a group of students who are serving or have served their country in the Armed Forces. At the conclusion of the ceremony the bobcat band will play the Armed Forces Medley. Associated Student Government invites all veterans to join them for cake and punch at a tent on the Quad. There will be reserved parking for veterans and their families from the community who wish to attend.
Local elementary schools have scheduled their activities for Nov. 11.
* Travis Elementary School’s celebration begins with a patriotic parade of students at 9 a.m., led by Principal Niki Konecki and Asst. Principal Brooke Neal. The program also includes a flag ceremony, slideshow recognition of veterans associated with Travis Elementary and patriotic songs sung by each grade level. There will also be performances by the SMHS drum line, the SMHS Diamond Line and a guest speaker.
* Crockett Elementary will have its ceremony at 2 p.m. in the cafeteria. It will include posting of the colors by the AFJROTC, a flag folding ceremony and a POW-MIA table.
* Bowie Elementary 2nd graders will perform a Patriotic Play at 6:30 p.m. in the school cafeteria. The public invited.
* De Zavala Elementary 3rd graders will host a Veterans Day performance for parents and the community at 6:30 p.m. in the cafeteria, with dress rehearsals at 1:15 p.m. and 2 p.m.
* Goodnight Junior High: Breakfast will be served from 7:45 -8:15 a.m. in the Goodnight library, followed by a ceremony honoring veterans at 8:30 a.m. in the large gymnasium.
* Miller Junior High – The Math Dept is participating in the Veterans Day Parade. A flyover is scheduled for 11 a.m. at which time they hope to take an aerial photo of Miller students waving flags.
* San Marcos High School – see schedule below:
Wednesday, Nov. 12 – The High School Junior AFROTC will conduct a POW-MIA and Flag Raising ceremony at the Detention Center for youths at 10 a.m.
by PAT MURDOCK
San Marcos Veterans Day Committee