LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
Progress is being made on the Vietnam War welcome home parade for veterans, scheduled for Oct. 9 on Main Street.
Earlier this month, Buddy Butler, an Iraq veteran from London who is organizing the parade, approached members of the Laurel County Fiscal Court with a request for funding. Court members voted to give the parade committee $4,500.
Last week, Butler approached members of the city council with a request for matching funds. They voted unanimously to give the parade committee $4,500.
“In doing this the city of London will continue to show its efforts in support of recognizing our Vietnam veterans,” Butler said. “The money will be used to help bring a large screen that will display the names of Kentuckians who made the ultimate sacrifice. This screen will continuously run the names throughout the parade. Also, the money donated will help in the planning of the May 12, 150-day countdown to the parade.”
The city council gave the Vietnam veterans a parade permit on March 1. The parade will follow the same route as the Christmas on Main parade.
“Since March 1, the feedback from the city as well as the county has truly been remarkable,” Butler said. “Some communities say they support their veterans and hopefully that is true. But, the city of London talks the talk and walks the walk.”
Butler said on April 1 the planning committee formed a relationship with the London-Laurel County Tourist Commission with the help of Executive Director Ken Harvey. Also on April 1, the check from fiscal court was presented to Larry Taylor in a ceremony with a group of Vietnam veterans from around the central Kentucky area. Taylor of London will be in charge of getting the Moving Wall to London.
“During the presentation, one of the Vietnam veterans, Mr. Don Lear, the fifth district commander of the disabled Americans, Monticello chapter, commented that his chapter would be attending this parade,” Butler said. “He said it was great to see a city doing it right.”
The Moving Wall will be set up in the top portion of the parking garage.
“That will give it a great downtown location,” Butler said. “People coming out to the parade will be able to see the memorial wall.”
The Moving Wall will be in London from 8 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 7, until Sunday morning. Butler said organizers are talking about coordinating with local schools to allow students who will be studying about the wall to view it.
The committee estimates it needs $25,000 in funding for the parade.
“We have brochures being printed, T-shirts being printed, banners being made and we’re seeking donations from various businesses,” Butler said.
People can register for the parade through its Web site — www.vnamvetsparadelondonky.com — which should be complete by the end of the week, or by e-mail at vnamvetslondonky@gmail. Phone numbers are listed on the Web site.
Staff writer Carol Mills can be reached at email@example.com.