County Commissioner José “Pepe” Díaz, Chairman of the Miami-Dade County Military Affairs Board, along with members of the Military Affairs Board, invites the entire community to honor the courage and service of veterans of the Vietnam War, the Bay of Pigs and all wars by attending the Miami-Dade County Golden Veterans Parade – 50th Anniversary Commemoration presented by Hershey’s on Friday, Nov. 8, 2013.
The parade will begin at noon on Flagler Street under the I-95 overpass and proceed down Flagler Street to Bayfront Park, where a post-parade commemorative ceremony and FREE concert will take place. Free event parking is available at the West Lot Parking Garage, 220 NW 3rd St., the Hickman Parking Garage, 270 NW 2nd St., and the garage at 140 W. Flagler St. No backpacks are permitted at the parade or ceremony.
Organized by the Military Affairs Board and with the support of 34 Miami-Dade municipalities, local military organizations and a diverse group of community leaders, the parade was inspired by a recent presidential proclamation designating the next 13 years as the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War to honor the more than 3 million servicemen and women who served during more than a decade of combat in Southeast Asia.
Parade participants will include a motorcycle club with over 100 bikers, veterans’ organizations, military units and their assets, ROTC units, sponsor floats, four school marching bands, police motorized and horse units, and a flyover. The concert will feature nationally recognized bands that support veterans’ causes, including Grand Funk Railroad, Willy Chirino and the 13th Army Band of the Florida National Guard.
This year, The Hershey Company will be the presenting sponsor of the Miami-Dade County Golden Veterans Parade and 50th anniversary commemoration. Hershey’s support of the U.S. military dates back to World War I, when Hershey provided milk chocolate bars to American soldiers. During World War II, Hershey developed the “Field Ration D” bar specifically for troops serving overseas and more than 24 million Ration D bars were produced every week by the end of 1945.
Hershey continues to support U.S. troops serving both domestically and in overseas conflicts. This includes the company’s product donation program, where Hershey sends a variety of products to men and women serving in the military. During the past 10 years, Hershey has sent care packages to the troops consisting of more than 4,500 cases of product. In addition, The Hershey Company has employed hundreds of veterans over the years and many have gone on to become leaders in the company. Today, there are more than 500 veterans in Hershey’s workforce.
On July 16, 2013, County Commissioners adopted a resolution sponsored by Commissioner Diaz to support the parade and commemoration.