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Team Offutt to March in Veteran’s Day parade

The U.S. Strategic Command’s honor guard posts the colors prior to leading members of team Offutt and tenant units in the 2011 Veterans Day parade held on Mission Avenue in Bellevue, Neb.

The U.S. Strategic Command’s honor guard posts the colors prior to leading members of team Offutt and tenant units in the 2011 Veterans Day parade held on Mission Avenue in Bellevue, Neb. Hundreds of military members start the annual parade where people gather to pay their respects to those who serve in the Armed Forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Josh Plueger)

OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. --

Team Offutt will participate in Nebraska’s Official Defenders of Freedom Veterans Day Parade Nov. 11 in Olde Towne Bellevue, Nebraska.

The parade is set to begin at 10:05 a.m., with a flyover by an RC-135S Cobra Ball, courtesy of the 55th Wing.

Former U.S. Army Air Corps Cpl. Robert Holts, the sole surviving original Tuskegee Airman from Nebraska, will be the Grand Marshall for the parade.

“Military history of Nebraska is interwoven throughout the fabric of our state and pre-state history,” said Ben Justman, Sarpy County Museum executive director. “The first military forces to enter the region that would become the state of Nebraska were explorers Lewis and Clark's Corps of Discovery in 1803.”

“The Nebraska Territory did their part during the Civil War and in 1867 Nebraska was admitted to the Union,” he added.

The parade will start at Jackson Street and end at Franklin Street and there will be six sets of bleachers near the grandstand for military family members.

Prior to the parade, the Fraternal Order of Eagles will be hosting a breakfast from 7:30 – 10 a.m., and Country Kickers will provide live music from 9:15 – 9:45 a.m.

After the parade, the First Baptist Church will host a soup luncheon at 112 E. 23rd Ave. Donations will be accepted for the meal to support Bellevue charities. Service members eat free.

The date Nov. 11 was originally meant to commemorate the ending of World War I. It was on Nov. 11, 1919, the first anniversary to the end of WWI, that Armistice Day was first celebrated. In 1926 Congress passed a resolution declaring Nov. 11 a national observance and in 1938 it became a holiday.

In 1954, Armistice Day was changed to Veterans Day by Dwight D. Eisenhower. Unlike where we remember those we lost on Memorial Day, Veterans Day gives citizens the opportunity to thank all veterans for their service.

“Team Offutt is a proud member of the state of Nebraska and humble supporter of our nation’s veterans,” said Col. Michael Manion, 55th Wing commander “The Fightin’ Fifty-Fifth leads the fight today and in the future due to the dedication and sacrifices of our veterans.”

Each year members of U.S. Strategic Command, the 55th Wing, the 557th Weather Wing and the 595th Command and Control Group participate in the parade.