The Douglas County annual Veterans Day Lighted Parade kicked off Saturday, Nov. 11 with hundreds of citizens lining the streets to honor the men and women who have served and fought for the freedom of Americans around the country and in Douglas County. Weather forecasters predicted 50 percent rain, but no rain occurred as veterans groups, scouts, military and reserve units, high school bands and Junior Reserve Officer Training Corp (JROTC) units began arriving shortly before the 7 p.m. start.

The first person to arrive in front of Douglas County High School where participants began staging was 68 year old Paul H. Bunch Jr., a Vietnam Veteran, who served in the U.S. Army from June 1968 to June 1971 active duty. Bunch drove his decorated 1964 GMC vehicle in the parade for the second time and had his granddaughter riding with him during the parade.

Bunch said, "having my 11-year-old granddaughter so excited made everything I had done for the whole day worth it."

The event did not only show unity among residents in Douglas County and the city of Douglasville, the leaders of both municipalities rode together during the parade. Douglas County Commission Chairman Romona Jackson Jones and Douglasville Mayor Rochelle Robinson both served in the U.S. Army before their current roles.

Resident Melinda Leigh said, "Nice turn out and while chilly, not terribly cold. We had a good time."

For the very first time social media allowed people who were unable to attend view portions of the parade live as it was happening through Facebook.

Douglas County Deputy Communications Director Rick Martin said, "I wanted to enhance the experience for people to see and engage in such a special tradition Douglas County has to offer in honoring those who served past and present. "

Sharon Burton Stocker posted on Facebook, "Great looking parade. We salute everyone who has served and continues."

Martin and Douglas County Director of Tourism Collin Cash provided remarks of the experience via Facebook Live on the Douglas County Happenings Facebook Page. Several of the video clips had thousands of views.

T.J. Jaglinski, host of dctv23's special broadcast of the 18th Annual Veterans Day Lighted Parade, said this event is his favorite of the year.

"I love this parade because it pays tribute to those who truly deserve it" Jaglinski said.

dctv23's special recorded broadcast of the parade will be available on air on Comcast Channel 23 and AT&T U-verse Channel 99. Jaglinski co-hosted the event with Douglas County Director of External Affairs Tiffany Stewart-Stanley.

dctv23 is the Douglas County government access cable television channel, and it serves the governments and public agencies of Douglas County with announcements and programming. dctv23 is headquartered in the Douglas County Department of Communications and Community Relations, and operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

For further information, contact Rick Martin, deputy director of Communications and Community Relations, at 770-920-7303.

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