The City of Aurora and the Aurora Veterans Advisory Council will host the annual Veterans Day Parade on Saturday, November 11, 2017.
The parade will step off at 10:15 a.m. from the corner of Broadway and Benton Street, and will travel north on Broadway, then west on Downer Place to the Grand Army of the Republic Memorial Hall, 23 E. Downer, where the ceremony will take place.
During the ceremony, Mayor Richard C. Irvin and other dignitaries will pay tribute to veterans, and a special a military rifle salute will commence at 11:11 a.m.
"We are extremely grateful to our veterans for their service," said Mayor Richard Irvin. "I am a proud veteran and Auroran who looks forward to the parade each year. It is a special time to reflect and to say thank you to those who sacrificed so much for our community and our nation."
The 2017 Keynote Speaker is Lieutenant Lauren Carthan, Senior Naval Science Instructor of the East Aurora Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps.
A 22-year Navy veteran, Carthan enlisted in the United States Navy in 1987 and was commissioned as a Naval Officer in 2000. She served in a number of capacities throughout the country, including Officer in Charge of the Officer Recruiting Program in Indiana and Deputy Director of Dental at the Naval Hospital at Great Lakes, prior to being deployed to Afghanistan in 2007. While on that tour of duty, her primary job was to assist in developing a tracking system for military members injured on the battlefield.
After retiring from the military with an Honorable Discharge, Lieutenant Carthan was hired in 2011 as the first female NJROTC Instructor at East Aurora High School. In 2015, she was named the Senior Naval Science Instructor of the East Aurora NJROTC, the largest unit in the country.
The parade line-up includes active and retired military personnel, local and regional veterans' organizations, public safety personnel, a community chorus, marching bands, ROTC units and many special guests.
Immediately following the parade and ceremony, the award-winning historic G.A.R. Memorial Hall - directly behind the reviewing stand - will be open for tours and parade attendees are invited to visit the David L. Pierce Art and History Center - directly across from the reviewing stand - for free coffee and donuts and to enjoy "With the Colors From Aurora," an exhibit of World War I memorabilia, complete with a full-scale walk-through replica of a trench from the period. The exhibit is presented jointly by the Aurora Public Art Commission and the Aurora Historical Society.
The parade, ceremony, and tours are all free and open to public.