The Northern Alabama Veterans Day Parade (Nov. 11, 2009) was set aside to thank and honor all men and women who served honorably in the military Aca,!" in wartime or in peacetime. The Veterans Day parade in Huntsville, the second largest in Alabama, is intended to thank living veterans for their service, to acknowledge that their contributions to our national security are appreciated, and to underscore the fact that all those who served Aca,!" not only those who died Aca,!" have sacrificed and done their duty.
This year's parade route ran about two miles long through downtown Huntsville. The key Reviewing Officer for the parade was Lt. Gen. Kevin T. Campbell, commanding general, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command, accompanied by his wife Kathy Campbell, and CSM Ralph C. Borja and his wife Nyuet Borja, who enjoyed parade from the Reviewing Stand at the Veterans Memorial Park. More than 100 parade entries participated, including seven marching bands and 800-plus Soldiers from Redstone Arsenal marching as part of their units of assignment.
The North Alabama Veterans Day Parade committee has placed increasing emphasis on the Veterans Memorial Park location for the past several years. The City of Huntsville changed the name of the park from "Gateway ParkAca,!A? to Veterans Memorial Park several years ago. The future Huntsville/Madison County Veterans Memorial will be erected at the intersection of Monroe and Jefferson streets. The memorial will be a living record of our veterans from all previous wars and future wars. The park is currently a focal point for all veteranAca,!a,,cs activities Aca,!" past, present, and future.
Two other key events preceded the parade, a dinner on Nov. 10 and a VIP breakfast the morning of the parade. Both events were conducted at the Von Braun Center's North Hall in Huntsville, where the Madison County Heritage Commission inducted the 2009 Hall of Heroes. The George A. Rauh Chapter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart also recognized and inducted Purple Heart recipients. Additionally, 36 wounded warriors, returning from Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, were honored and recognized.