Friday, November 10, 2017

Houston Veterans Day Parade Cancelled. Shame on You, City Hall

The City of Houston has cancelled the Veterans Day parade. Instead, the city will host Travis Manion Foundation's 9/11 Heroes Run. The worst part, after the whole disrespecting veterans thing - the city didn't even bother to announce the decision. How many people will wake up Saturday morning thinking they are going to attend the annual parade? 

So, the city took down the relevant page on their website and eliminated it from their Facebook page, according to this article. How's that for cowardice? I checked out the website accounting of this year's activities and it only made me angry.

This is what is now on the city website:

Houston is a cornerstone of Veterans Day celebrations in the United States.  As a city, Houston is proud to pay tribute to our men and women in the military by providing an annual “Houston Salutes American Heroes Veterans Day Celebration”.  This civic celebration honors and celebrates the brave men, women, and families who pay the ultimate sacrifice for liberty and freedom.
The celebration this year will begin at 8 a.m. on Saturday November 11, 2017 with the 9/11 Heroes Run which was cancelled on 9/11 this year due to the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
All proceeds from registration (excluding cost of shirts/fulfillment) will be donated to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund.
The salute continues with the AARP Veterans Job & Resource Fair complete with Symbols of Freedom - military displays and activities surrounding the reflection pool in Hermann Square at City Hall.
The traditional Veterans Day Ceremony presented by H-E-B will begin at 10:00 a.m. on the steps of City Hall ending with a moment of silence in memory of the signing of the WWI Armistice.
The entire event will take place from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. on Saturday, November 11.

Are city officials telling Houstonians that there is no way the nation's 4th largest city can possibly schedule '9/11 Heroes Run' at better time than Veterans Day weekend? It's not like Veterans Day wasn't already on the calendar when the Run was cancelled due to Hurricane Harvey. Why was this parade bumped? 

I have nothing against the 9/11 Heroes Run. The proceeds are going to Hurricane Harvey relief. What? Seems to me, if this is the substitute for the annual parade, the least that could be done as a gesture of goodwill would be for the proceeds to go to a charity for veterans. Is that too much to ask?

It is worthy to honor the fallen and it is worthy to honor heroes. However, veterans deserve their own day and separate recognition. Veterans Day honors all veterans, not just the fallen. It is the very least we can do as grateful Americans.

Shame on you, Houston leadership. How unfortunate that this bad decision now tarnishes the goodness felt about a city pulling together in a really tough year. This is disgraceful.

After local television and radio coverage began of this story, some well-known Houstonians have stepped up and, in an impromptu move, have organized a parade. That's what leadership is. That's #HoustonStrong.