Last updated: February 19. 2013 4:31PM - 680 Views

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WILKES- BARRE – The 67th annual Wyoming Valley Veterans Day Parade will be held Sunday and coincide with the date of the federal holiday.


The parade is the largest in the area and features eight divisions.


The weather forecast is for mostly sunny skies and a temperature around 60 as marchers step off at 2 p.m. at Kingston Corners. The parade route travels along Market Street, across the Susquehanna River to Public Square where the reviewing stand will be located.


Col. Colleen A. Dickinson of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard is this year's parade marshal. The reviewing officer is retired Air Force Maj. Gen. William B. Lynch.


The holiday has it roots in the 1919 Armistice Day proclamation by President Woodrow Wilson to commemorate the end of World War I a year earlier on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. The day was to be marked with parades, public events and a brief suspension of business starting at 11 a.m.


Armistice Day became a legal holiday in 1938 to honor the veterans of World War I. In 1954 after World War II and the Korean War, Congress changed the name to Veterans Day to honor American veterans of all wars. The same year President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued the first Veterans Day proclamation.


In 1968 the Uniformed Holiday Bill became law, designating four national holidays on Mondays so federal employees could enjoy a three-day weekend.


The first Veterans Day under the new date was celebrated on Oct. 25, 1971. But four years later President Gerald R. Ford restored the holiday to Nov. 11, effective in 1978, because of the historic and patriotic significance it had for many citizens.


The Wyoming Valley parade will have members of all branches of the service represented as well as government officials, civic and labor organizations, marching bands and floats.


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