HANNIBAL – Mayor James Hark and Heartland Auto Body and Towing owner Jason Krigbaum were pleased with the success of the Nov. 9 Veterans Day parade in Hannibal, watching the result of their efforts to honor as many veterans as possible.
A few days before the parade, Hark and Krigbaum pooled their efforts to bring out the veterans, encouraging local agencies to help by participating. The $10 fee paid by each parade unit will go toward construction of a Veterans Memorial and Freedom Bell, which will be installed in the Cardiff Hill Overlook Park.
Hark reported the parade had 35 entries, double the number in 2018.
In addition to riding in cars, such as World War II Navy veteran Babe Rouse, a group representing several branches of the military rode on a Heartland flatbed trailer.
Among them was a veteran waving a Veterans of Foreign Wars flag. The parade paused in the fourth block of Broadway to honor the veterans and hear the National Anthem sung by 10th District Presiding Judge Rachel Bringer Shepherd, as she watches the parade from the Elks Lodge balcony.
While the parade paused there, Hark announced the winner of a drawing for a prize, which was won by Vietnam veteran Lloyd DeMotte, as he rode on the Heartland trailer.
DeMotte said he has only lived in Hannibal since August, “and it is really incredible the people I have met.”
Later Hark announced his choice for the parade unit prize, which went to the Mark Twain Federated Democratic Club's float. He explained,“The deciding factor was the amount of decorations and the number of American flags. It represented unity, and that's what it's all about.”
Gail Bryant of the Hannibal Bicentennial committee, also was pleased with the large turnout for the parade, both by participants and parade watchers who lined Broadway and waved flags to honor the veterans. “The parade was a huge success,” she said, adding, “a special thank you to Heartland Towing and the mayor. It was a nice tribute to veterans.”
For more pictures of the parade and crowd, see photo gallery.