Young and old alike enjoy the festivities

The sun shined, the smiles were bright, and the laughter was contagious as Pigeon Forge celebrated our nation’s freedom with the Patriot’s Day parade.
Over forty floats paraded past the crowd, from tri-cycles to tanks, waving flags and sporting their patriotic message to waiting tourists and local people.
One young man stood at attention as the flag went by. Dressed in camouflage fatigues that looked authentic with rank insignia and his name gracing his chest, his face showed the pride that so many of us feel for our troops.
Seven-year-old Justin Cline and his mother came from Asheville, North Carolina to see the parade. “My dad’s in Iraq,” said Justin. “ I miss him, I wish he could come home.”
With his thoughts on his dad, Justin stayed at his post, watching the other children having fun, him at attention until all the flags had passed.
Warren King, a veteran of WWII was on hand to read some of his poetry about his experience as a POW in Germany. He also quipped about going over to Europe on the Queen Mary, having Prime Minister Winston Churchill on board “for ballast on the ship.”
King’s comments were moving to the crowd and to him, as he paused to wipe a hand across his uniformed chest, choking back the tears as he remembered the times he had during the war. “I still have nightmares,” he told the crowd.
The children had a great time with the floats and the competition for their entries. Awards were given for tri-cycles, bicycles and floats. Wagons served as undercarriage for an ambulance, there was even a miniature stealth bomber being towed.
The crowd got into the patriotic spirit with the kids, applauding all as they strolled by with their hard work at hand. It was a true red, white and blue day.

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