Posts of the 16th District were well represented at the Manassas, Va., 10th Annual Northern Virginia Veterans Parade honoring The American Legion’s 100th anniversary. The weather turned from rainy and cold to a very pleasant sunshiny day.
The parade was privileged to have Past National Commander (PNC) Dan Dellinger serve as the grand marshal. PNC Dellinger was joined by his wife, Margaret, who has served as Auxiliary Unit 180 president. We were also pleased to have Department of Virginia Vice Commander Joe Dudley as part of the Legion contingent.
Represented in the parade were members from Posts 10, 28, 34, 114, 150, 247, 293, 330 and 1799, who came together to represent the 16th District with honor. The assembly area was filled with comradery as members from the various posts mixed with the others and shared in their mutual experiences and revelry on this special day. A hospitality house was provided by Donna Langford Mullin (Auxiliary Unit 10), who opened her home and served refreshments to the Legionnaires assembled for the parade.
The American Legion contingent of the parade was led by the Suicide Prevention Tribute Truck pulling a parade float provided by Ziggy Levison, 16th District Media and Communications Chair. The preparation of the float was spearheaded by Ziggy, assisted by fellow Legionnaires Bob Brady and Lenny Kaneshiro. Riding on the float was 16th District Commander Sonnie Dickerson, 16th District Auxiliary President Alice Brady, Past District Commanders Bob Brady and John Ward, and a host of other Legionnaires.
Manassas Post 10 by far had the largest contingent in the parade, featuring many facets of their various programs. Their contingent was led by their post color guard commanded by John Butler. They were followed by Post 10 Commander Toni Barber, joined by Legionnaires James Brock and Juan Rodriguez.
16th District Vice Commander John Carty reflected, “I thoroughly enjoyed the Northern Virginia Veterans Parade this past weekend. The weather was excellent and it was inspiring to see all the marching units, particularly our members of the American Legion Family. I love to march in parades and I was proud to carry my post colors for Post 34 Johnson-Brent, Leesburg, Va. The 16th District was well represented.”
Post 10 First Vice Commander Mark Stein drove the 1954 Jeep, joined by Post 10 Second Vice Commander Tom McIntosh and Legionnaire Richard Embrey. Continuing the line of march was a vintage fire truck supporting Post 10 featuring Post 10 Legionnaire Marie Libby, who is a Korean War veteran. On the rear of the fire truck were Post 10 Legionnaires Steve Kowalewski and Bill Barron. The truck is one of two owned by Post 10 SAL Member Randy Higgins. who is also an Arlington County firefighter.
The Post 10 American Legion Riders (ALR) had a massive turnout, with so many attending it would be hard to list them all. Post 10 ALR Director John Atkins and ALR Chaplain Bob Potter did a great job organizing the riders in the parade. Auxiliary Unit 10 teamed up with Sons Squadron 10 to participate in the parade. Auxiliary Unit 10 members Diana Lake, Apryle Edelblute, Shelby Savin, Leslie Houseman and Jennifer Emerman walked the parade route handing out poppies, assisted by Sons member Tommy Ramirez.
Post 10 also was represented by Boy Scout Troop 884 led by Scout Master Harry Post. Rounding out the Post 10 family were the Manassas Young Marines led by Post 10 Finance Officer Kevin Gilliard.
16th District Commander Sonnie Dickerson expressed her heartfelt thanks for the superior participation in the parade. She told her district leaders in attendance, “I was truly impressed to see such a great group of veterans turn out for this event highlighting The American Legion. I appreciate the fact that we had members travel over an hour to participate, and the key players who started their morning at 4 a.m. to make sure this event went so well. Their efforts went well beyond basic membership participation and reflects well on the efforts of the 16th District to honor their fellow veterans.”