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A time to honor those who served
Parade a fitting tribute to veterans
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 Great Bend Municipal Airport last hosted an airfest in 2012. So, when things take off this weekend, it will be a big deal.

It will be a chance for some to learn about the past. For others, it will be a chance to relive at least a part of it.

It is for those who can recall the days of the historic warbirds taking part in the festival that Airfest 2015 is designed.

“Without a doubt, airfest will be an amazing event for the community,” Great Bend Community Coordinator Christina Hayes said. And a new addition will make it even more special.

City officials have decided to add a Veterans Honor Parade to tie in with the 2015 show theme “Honor Those Who Served.” Every year for Airfest they have Veterans load at the Fuller Brush parking lot, Hays said. They are then led over to the Airfest site where Veterans are seated in the front rows of the POW-MIA ceremony. 

“We would like to do the same thing this year, however I think the public would like to give a little more tribute to honor these Veterans,” she said.

Barton County has approved closing the southbound lane of Airport Road on Sept. 19 so that members of the public have the opportunity to stand along the road, wave flags and “truly give our local Veterans and Honor they truly deserve.”

Hays has also gotten permission from the two businesses along that road to utilize their parking lots for those public members who want to attend the parade.

It is fitting that Great Bend hold such an event, after all, the airport started its life as a B-29 training base during World War II and that facility forever changed the face of this community.

It is also fitting that veterans be recognized. Hayes needs vets planning to take part call her about registering so proper transportation can be arranged. 

She also wants folks to show up and cheer them along the route.

Hays envisions the road being packed with veterans and lined with residents waving American flags. Let’s help her bring this vision to reality.

Dale Hogg