Niles salutes veteransPublished 1:26pm Monday, May 28, 2012
Dick Noble said his veteran heart swelled with pride as he marched up Main Street with the Niles Memorial Day Parade Monday morning.
He said he was thankful to see such a large turnout with people packed shoulder to shoulder along Main Street in downtown Niles.
“You could see the joy in the children’s eyes for us, and the flag. It was a beautiful thing,” said Noble, a Niles veteran of the Korean War who served as a radio operator and interceptor for the 329th Communication Reconnaissance.
“We were dispatched to the eighth army,” he said. “Our job was to intercept messages and put a fix on position and then we would send information to the artillery all day long.”
Noble walked beside friend and fellow veteran Odie Stewart, a Niles native who served in the United States Army in the late 1960s and mid ’70s.
“The fun part about today is we started going to the edge of the crowd, shaking hands with the vets and saluting these guys,” Stewart said.
More than 40 floats participated in the parade, including the American Legion Post 26 Firing Squad, Niles High School marching band, Four Flags Area Apple Festival and Brandywine High School marching band.
The parade began near the old YMCA building, traveled south on Main Street and concluded with a Memorial Day service at Silverbrook Cemetery.
Pastor Jeff Whittaker, of Michiana Christian Embassy Church, led a prayer while American Legion Post 26 Commander Ken Wolfe and Ladies Auxiliary Post 26 President Echo Thomson placed a wreath at the foot of a memorial dedicated to veterans of all wars. The Brandywine High School marching band played patriotic music.
Wolfe said the wreath signified respect for the veterans who gave the ultimate sacrifice and to past, present and future veterans.
“When I was coming up Main Street, I could see a lot of parents telling their kids about Memorial Day, what it is for and what it is about.
“That is so important if we want it to continue on.”