Hundreds turn out for Denison Memorial Day parade

By: Ethan Hutchins Email
By: Ethan Hutchins Email

DENISON,TX -- Hundreds turn out for the annual Memorial Day parade.

"Today, to me, is a day of remembrance," said Jim Pelkey.

Hundreds of people lined Main street in Denison Monday, waving flags in a tribute to fallen military members, veterans and those still serving.

Floats and bands took to the streets as well as several veterans' organizations in military vehicles, but amidst all the festivities, Memorial Day brings many veterans, like Joe Walker, back to the past and difficult memories that are very far, from these celebrations.

"I remember the happy times, and try and forget the rough times," said Joe Walker.

Joe Walker is the president of the U.S. Navy veterans association.

Walker served 18 years in the Navy and and was deployed to Vietnam twice.

Despite everything, he says he'd do it all over again.

"I still support my country and I still love my country. This is the best country in the world," said Walker.

Through the mass of people, welcoming the floats down main, is Vietnam veteran Jim Pelkey.

Pelkey served five tours in the Army and recalls his homecoming from an unpopular war.

"Our welcome home came 20 years later, when they put the wall up. That was our welcome home for Vietnam veterans," said Pelkey.

Pelkey says he saw a "Dignity Memorial" traveling Vietnam wall when it came to Denison in 2005, and that's when he finally found peace.

"When I touched that wall, I could feel my brothers saying Jim don't hold us back, let us go," said Pelkey.

Letting go, but never forgetting the fallen or their service.

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