For the first time in as many as five decades, a Veterans Day parade wound its way down Main Street in Bel Air Friday morning, reestablishing a tradition marking the service of Harford County’s men and women who served in the armed forces.
The parade was the centerpiece of a weekend of events which continues Saturday with a free Veterans Day festival at the Liriodendron, including a Color Guard and program at 10:20 a.m., Army equipment, children’s activities, Native American artifacts with docents to explain local Indian lore. The grounds are scheduled to open at 9:30 a.m. parking on the West Broadway lot with Shuttle bus service to the mansion.
But it was the parade that drew all the attention Friday, beginning at the intersection of Main Street and Churchville Road and continuing to the Reckord Armory at the intersection of Lee Way and Main Street. The procession featured several color guard units, a number of local high school bands, and a variety of military vehicles.
At the conclusion of the parade, local officials rededicated the armory as a community center, with Bel Air Town Commissioner Chairman David Carey and Harford County Executive David Craig offering their thoughts on Veterans Day and those Harford County residents who have served their country. Among those present for the ceremony were former U.S Senator Joseph Tydings, who accompanied state Attorney General Douglas Gansler.
A selection of photos from the parade and program follow.
Harford County State’s Attorney Joseph Cassilly, named the Disabled American Veterans’ 2011 Outstanding Disabled Veteran of the Year, leads off the parade
The C. Milton Wright High School marching band.
The Harford County Sheriff’s Office color guard unit.
The North Harford High School marching band.
Students from Bel Air Elementary School line the parade route.
The Bel Air High School marching band.
Members of the Warrior Brotherhood Veterans Motorcycle Club.
The Joppatowne High School marching band passes in review as members of the Marine Corps League, Bel Air Detachment look on.
Harford County Council District C Councilman “Capt’n” Jim McMahan delivers a reading of John McCrae’s poem “In Flanders Fields” as Harford County Executive David Craig and Maryland Veterans Commission member Michael Mooney look on.
Former U.S. Sen. Joseph Tydings and state Attorney General Douglas Gansler take in the Veterans Day program in Bel Air.
(From left) Bel Air Town Commissioner Chairman David Carey, Betsy Herrmann, granddaughter of Gen. Milton Reckord, and Harford County Executive David Craig cut the ribbon at the re-dedication of the Reckord Armory.