OGDEN — Around this time every year for the past several years, Dennis Howland seems to constantly be on his phone.
Just about the time the leaves start changing color, local veterans start to dial the president of the Northern Utah chapter of Vietnam Veterans of America to find out if and when the annual Ogden Veterans Day Parade will take place.
“I’ve already been getting calls, left and right,” Howland said on Sept. 15. “This is the time of the year when our veterans and their families starting wondering about the parade.”
And Howland has some good news: It’s back for 2015.
This year’s procession will be held at 11:11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 7, signifying the exact time the World War I Armistice was signed 97 years ago.
When the ink dried on the agreement, World War I combat was officially ended and Armistice Day became an annual holiday in the United States. After The Great War, the holiday was renamed Veterans Day to honor those who participated in all of America’s wars.
Featuring a full day of events, the parade will begin staging at 9:30 a.m. at 31st Street and Washington Boulevard.
Howland said this year’s celebration will feature participation from veteran and community organizations, schools, Scouts, military units and bands. Military vehicles, marching units and other entries to honor veterans will also be included.
“We’ve got some larger vehicles scheduled for this year’s parade,” Howland said. “And we’ve cleared everything with the city. You have to do that when you’ve got a 57,000 pound tank.”
To wrap up the day, a veterans dance will be held at 7:30 p.m. at the Ogden Eagles Lodge, 975 Wall Avenue.
Howland said the evening program includes a special salute to veterans and will feature the music of Ogden band Two Weeks Notice. The cost for the dance is $25 per couple; all proceeds go to the Vietnam Veterans of America Project, which will bring a replica of the Washington D.C., Vietnam Memorial to Layton’s Commons Park.
Veterans Day parades were held in Ogden until the 1950s, when celebrations fizzled out and eventually stopped. In 2006, local veterans worked together to bring the event back.
The 2015 version will be sponsored by the Northern Utah Vietnam Veteran of America Chapter 1079 and the Fleet Reserve Association Branch 185. Ogden city also contributes resources to the privately funded parade.
For information on how to enter the parade or how to donate to it, contact Howland at 801-389-1893 and email@example.com or Robert Porter at 801-393-3461 and firstname.lastname@example.org.