BALLINGER– A time to honor those who served. Saturday, November 10, 2012 the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9196 Rowena, hosted the Veterans Day memorial at the Runnels County Courthouse lawn. The ceremony was followed by the second annual Veterans Day parade in downtown Ballinger.

A large group gathered at 10 a.m. at the Courthouse lawn with flags lining the courthouse sidewalk.

Pat Vancil opened the ceremony singing The Star-Spangled Banner while the colors were posted.

Post Commander John Multer recalled the historical meaning of the day, originally declared “Armistice Day,” on November 11, 1918 when World War I ended. The celebration was renamed Veterans Day in 1954, to honor all veterans who served America and defended democracy.

Multer, a Vietnam veteran, saluted all of those members of the armed forces who paid the ultimate price offering their lives to protect democracy, those that are still in service, and also the ones that suffered disabilities and came back home.

Father Hugh Wade, pastor of St. Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church and an Army chaplain who served in Vietnam and Iraq, said his heart is still with the armed forces. “My father and my grandfather served in the Navy,” he said. “We need to thank our veterans for their service.”

After the ceremony the second annual Veterans’ Day parade was held in downtown, led by the Goodfellow Air Force Base Color Guard.

County and city officials participated in the parade, as well as area fire departments, the Ballinger Bearcat Band, Olfen cheerleaders, Norton Lions Club, a Naval detachment and the Army Charlie Company, 344th Military Intelligence Battalion, both from Goodfellow.