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Armed Forces parade, monument rededication set for today

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A rededication of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument on Public Square will follow the annual Armed Forces Day parade this morning.

The parade will kick off at 10 a.m. in the Watertown High School parking lot on Washington Street, proceed north with a brief stop in front of the reviewing stand near the Dulles State Office Building and continue on Clinton Street.

At 12:15 p.m., the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, Walter H. French Camp 17, will hold the monument’s rededication.

Guest speakers will be Kevin A. Kieff from the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and Mayor Jeffrey E. Graham.

Workers completed the $98,000 project to restore the 1891 Civil War monument in the fall.

Mr. and Mrs. George Cook’s $10,000 donation and a fundraising campaign in 1889 paid for the monument.

Sculptor Henry Augustus Lukeman and architect Edward Pearce Casey designed it.

Meanwhile, the Armed Forces parade will feature five bands, 11 floats, a concert by the Antwerp Drum and Bugle Corps, the 10th Mountain Division band, military equipment and Fort Drum police and fire vehicles.

The parade is designed to thank military members and their families.

In 1949, Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced the creation of Armed Forces Day to replace Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force days.

The single-day celebration stemmed from the unification of the Armed Forces under the Department of Defense.

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