WESTMINSTER, SC — Oconee County salutes its veterans

“It’s not Veterans Day without a parade!”

That was the comment of one of the many community members who attend the 2008 Oconee County Veterans Day Parade in downtown Westminster.

The parade rotates from year to year among Westminster, Seneca and Walhalla.

“We had an excellent turnout in Westminster today,” said Oconee County Veterans Affairs Director Jerry Dyar. “We had about 50 entries in the parade, area high school bands and some of our decorated service veterans. All the veterans were very pleased to see the good turnout too.”

The parade started at First Baptist Church off Oakway Road, ran through downtown Westminster and concluded at the Historic Depot.

The Grand Marshal of this year’s parade was Bill Lee, a Purple Heart recipient of World War II, who was wounded in Europe.

The parade featured several vehicles including more than 200 motorcycles, five U.S. Army trucks, three tractors and an old fire engine from the Oconee Heritage Center.

People comprised the majority of the parade and rightly so on Veterans Day. The three area high school bands of West-Oak, Walhalla, and Seneca, JROTC members from those schools, area 4-H clubs and of course hundreds of veterans took part in this year’s parade.

“One of the highlights of the parade was our Pearl Harbor survivors and two POWs from the World War II era,” added Dyar.

State Senator Thomas Alexander, R-Walhalla, state Rep. Bill Whitmire, R-Walhalla and Rep. Bill Sandifer, R-Seneca, were just a few of the dignitaries who also took part in the parade this year through downtown Westminster.