THREE OAKS – The Three Oaks Flag Day Parade celebrated 69 years on Sunday, June 13, with a 100-plus unit extravaganza that delighted a massive crowd of onlookers with everything from flag-bearing veterans (complete with honor guards firing salutes) and crowned community royalty, the Marching Mustangs, and multitudes of tractors.
Flag Day Parade Grand Marshal Lieutenant Colonel Ernest A. Bachman rode in the same 2003 Corvette he has driven while the celebration’s prince and princess waved to the crowd since 2009. This year it was his turn to wave to parade-goers from the Vette. Bachman served in the National Guard and Army Reserves. He was on active duty from 1970 to 2008 and his service included a combat tour in Iraq with the Big Red 1 where the Bronze Star was awarded.
A pre-parade flag-raising ceremony included veteran and country artist Joey Beebe singing the national anthem at the corner of Elm and Maple streets. A World War II military plane fly-over signaled the start of the “World’slargest Flag Day Parade.”
Also taking place during the June 11-13 Flag Day Celebration were Saturday evening fireworks, The Southshore Concert Band kicking off Music in the Park at Dewey Cannon Park, a co-ed softball tournament, the Flag Day 5K (see article in the News section of this website), and three days of live entertainment at American Legion Post 204 Under The Pavilion including a Saturday night show by PS Dump Your Boyfriend.
Area veterans recognized during a June 12 Quilts of Valor presentation presentation in the Carver Park pavilion were: Barry Brown, Roy Brown, Dean Conaway, Donald Crouch, David M. Duch, Wayne Griffin, Larry Lear, Charles McFall, Glenn Openneer Jr., Becky Payne, Jerry Peters, Chuck Whortona and Lonnie Zebel.