Monticello shows support for its veterans

Ashley Hunter
ECB Publishing, Inc.

Like many towns and communities around the nation, Monticello and Jefferson County residents gathered on the sidewalks of their streets in order to thank veterans, wave American flags and show their hometown support at the Monday, Nov. 11 Veterans Day parade.
Starting at Capital City Bank on South Jefferson Street, and then traveling north around the Courthouse Circle, the parade included several different faces, companies and community groups – all with the same purpose in mind: supporting and thanking veterans.
From high school students with the Jefferson Somerset JROTC and Aucilla Christian Academy Beta Club to World War II veterans, people of all walks of life turned out to participate in or watch the Monday morning parade.
At the forefront of the parade and carrying the flags of the United States and its various military branches were members of the Jefferson Somerset Color Guard as well as military veterans Troy Avera, John Jones, Ed Gifford, Ned Hill, Ken Watson, Rev. Ben Ransom and Robert Walker.
Following the flags and the veterans carrying them was parade-regular G-FAST, with their heavy trucks and search-and-rescue equipment. Accompanying G-FAST was the parade's Grand Marshall, George Pittman. A World War II veteran, Pittman was honorably nominated to serve as the 2019 parade's Grand Marshall, for which his service to his country and community were praised.
Many more parade participants followed – such as the Kiwanis Club, the Frontier Girls and Boys Troop 508, individual veterans, Jefferson County's Watermelon Queens, Big Bend Hospice, the Veteran of Foreign Wars Auxiliary and several local businesses – amongst many others!
Parades are an entertaining and engaging way for a community to join together, celebrate or support a cause, and the Monday, Nov. 11 Veterans Day Parade served as an opportunity for the local community to say a loud, heartfelt “Thank You” to the men and women who served their country and took up the calling to protect and defend their nation.