Marietta hosts Veterans Day parade

MARIETTA, Okla. (KXII) - Marietta held it's first Veterans Day Parade early Saturday morning.

Mayor Kimberly Fraire says she wanted the veterans to be recognized for their service and wanted the community to be involved in honoring them.

"In this day and age, I don't think people understand that freedom isn't free, and that these men and woman have put their lives on line," Fraire said.

Saturday's Parade kicked off with a memorial run to remember the life of Love County resident Hatak Yearby, a marine who was killed in the line of action at 21-years-old in Iraq.

His father, Justin Yearby, says the run grew into a day of celebration to honor all of those who served like Hatak before he was killed in 2006.

"It takes a village to raise a children, well in his mind in joining the military, it was 'it's my time to watch the village' and that was his mindset," Justin Yearby said.

Veteran Marine Andy McDuffie, who served as Yearby's squad leader, was also honored at the event.

He had a special message to those veterans who may have lost someone like he did.

"You have already been through some of the most difficult times of your life so you should use that as motivation to just continue to press forward and to overcome any obstacles that come your way," McDuffie said.

Mayor Fraire says about three thousand dollars was raised at Saturday's memorial run and that the money will be used to fund local scholarships.

She says they plan to make the memorial run and the Veterans Day parade an annual tradition.

"Just knowing that we can honor his memory and keep his legacy alive and honor all veterans and come together as a community that I love, it just instills me with a lot of pride," Fraire said.

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