Veterans Day celebrations kick off early across the Panhandle

Veterans Day celebrations kick off early across the Panhandle

Amarillo, TX - Veterans Day is next Wednesday, but many Panhandle communities are honoring our area heroes this weekend.

In Amarillo, patriotic floats paraded down Polk Street Saturday morning to pay tribute to our hometown heroes. The Marine Corps League sponsored the annual Veterans Day Parade, which paid special tribute to our local WWII veterans. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the end of the war.

The Borger Elks Lodge hosted the 10th Annual Hutchinson County Veterans Appreciation Banquet Saturday evening. Colonel James Fleming was the featured guest speaker. Col. Fleming is a retired airman and is one of only 78 living Medal of Honor recipients.

"It is truly an honor to have somebody of his caliber to be at our banquet to be able to talk to us about his life experiences and how he dealt with everything," said Clayton Norton, a veteran of the U.S. Army.

Veterans are not the only ones being honored Saturday across the Panhandle. Dozens of area families who have lost a loved one in the military are also being recognized. Dyers BBQ hosted a special luncheon for Gold Star families to pay respect to those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom.

Larry Monschke was one of the families in attendance. He lost his son in Afghanistan back in 2007. "It's important to honor the men and women who have served our country to protect our freedom," said Monschke. "Veterans are many times overlooked, I feel. I just say thank you to the veterans who have served our country."