The Saturday morning celebration festivities begin at 9:30am with Opening Ceremonies, the parade steps off at The Plymouth Rock at 10:00am on the Plymouth Massachusetts historic waterfront with an opening ceremony featuring a variety of top-quality entertainment.
This is one of America’s only historically accurate chronological parades, visually bringing to life America’s rich heritage representing each century from the 17th through the 21st. In showing the preservation of America’s history through the years, beginning with the Pilgrim era, we promote an appreciation among our citizens for our rich heritage.
The parade is ranked the #1 Thanksgiving parade in the nation. It features beautifully decorated floats representing historic events, honoring national anniversaries and celebrating every period of American history.
Patriotism and hope is revived in the hearts of observant adults and children as the floats, drum and bugle corps, and military bands march thru the streets honoring the courageous defenders of our country: the men and women who serve in the Army, the Navy, the Marines, the Air Force and the Coast Guard.
Educational and economic factors aside, the parade offers plenty of fun and entertainment to attract visitors from all corners of the United States and even beyond. Viewers are treated to a visual trip back to the colonial days.
WILL YOU HELP US TO ACHIEVE OUR GOAL?
Dont forget to bring your canned goods to the parade and when The Hometown Express rides past, you can help us to fill it up! We will be donating to our food banks to help feed families in need for Thanksgiving!
by Dr. Paul Jehle
America’s Hometown Thanksgiving Celebration is known for its honor of veterans. This year is no different as we will honor the veterans of World War II, known as the “greatest generation,” by creating a float that depicts the 75th anniversary of the June 6, 1944 landing on the beaches of Normandy. As the Allied troops, a large percentage of them from the U.S., approached the beaches on that Tuesday morning, they knew they would face an entrenched Nazi force awaiting their arrival. They would be exposed as they climbed the beaches, and they knew thousands would not go home.
If it were not for June 6, 1944, there would have been no VE-day on May 7 and no VJ-day on August 14 to terminate World War II in 1945. Dwight Eisenhower was Commander of the Allied Forces. In the predawn hours of June 6, American paratroopers of the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions along with the British dropped into Normandy behind enemy lines. British glider troops seized bridges, and special coded messages told the French to disrupt and sabotage German communications throughout France. Hitler, as dictator, required that no one move unless he approved. This gave us time. In contrast, the Allies were authorized to make on the spot decisions. Thus, this was a conflict between centralization and self-government, and self-government proved to be the key to victory.
Troops slowly hit the beaches under heavy fire, climbed the hills and took out the German guns. In one day more than 150,000 Allied forces had landed – the largest seaborne invasion in history. With over 9,000 casualties, it proved to be the greatest heroic event of the war – and it brought confusion to the German high command which proved decisive. Eisenhower’s words to his troops on June 6 prior to the invasion of Normandy were significant: “You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade… the eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you…. I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than a full victory! …let us beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.”
No wonder the vets of World War II are often called “the greatest generation.” Let us give thanks for such heroes and honor them this year November 22-23!
by Dr. Paul Jehle
America’s Hometown Thanksgiving Celebration will be honoring the 50th anniversary of the landing on the moon with a magnificent float in this year’s chronological parade! Many of us remember where we were on July 20, 1969 when a fuzzy snow like black and white television beamed to earth one of the most remarkable achievements of America. Watched by more than 550 million people worldwide and by 53 million families in the U.S., Neil Armstrong said those now famous words “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the moon, became so popular that the 1995 movie Toy Story featured his fame by creating the character “Buzz Lightyear.”
Some interesting trivia is that Neil Armstrong carried a piece of wood from the Wright Brothers original plane (1903) with him on the mission. Left on the moon were pictures of human beings, audio recordings of several different languages and medallions listing the names of the three astronauts who died in Apollo 1 and the two cosmonauts who lost their lives in a similar accident. In addition, the original site for landing proved to be too risky, and the extra flight of the Eagle probe meant that when they landed, they only had 25 seconds of fuel left! If they had run out of fuel, the mission would have been aborted!
Landing on the moon was so spiritually significant to Buzz Aldrin, he later shared the story that he took communion prior to landing. This was later printed in Guidepost in 1970 and in his book Return to Earth (1973). Since they landed on a Sunday, he did so timed with his home church Webster Presbyterian near Houston with a special chalice given for that purpose (this “Church of the Astronauts” still celebrates Lunar Sunday closest to July 20 each year). The self-sacrifice of such a voyage is also illustrated in the fact that many do not know the name of Michael Collins, the astronaut who continued to orbit the moon in the main ship Columbia. Though he never got to step on the moon, and his name has not become famous like Armstrong and Aldrin, without his work “behind the scenes” there would have been no mission and they could not have returned.
Finally, consider this; the amazing amount of scientific research and experimentation, only possible in a nation built on the freedom to invent and explore, allowed the United States to lead the world on such a global mission. It remains part of the mission of America’s Hometown Thanksgiving to give thanks for our nation that recognizes such a right of liberty.