The World-Herald will honor veterans of the Cold War years at a special downtown parade July 3.
The parade will precede the TD Ameritrade College Home Run Derby and World-Herald fireworks display.
The event will be a homecoming and thank-you for veterans of the Korean and Vietnam Wars and the Strategic Air Command, along with those who served in the armed forces around the globe during the Cold War years.
Public relations professional Bill Ramsey, who is helping organize the event, recalled finding no one to greet him when he came home in 1952 after being wounded in Korea.
“I felt extremely lonesome and extremely disconnected,” he said. “I wondered, ‘Did anyone really miss me?'
“I went downtown the next morning, and a fairly good friend says, ‘Where in the heck have you been?' He didn't say thanks for serving. That wasn't common in those days.”
The July 3 event is tied to the 20th anniversary of the dissolution of SAC in 1992 after the dismantling of the Soviet Union.
“The Omaha World-Herald is proud to help organize this parade to honor these veterans who were never recognized for the sacrifice they made for our country,” said Joel Long, World-Herald communications director.
Long said The World-Herald was pleased by TD Ameritrade's willingness to share part of the events. “TD Ameritrade is a top-notch company that was very receptive to this community show of patriotic support,” Long said.
The event also will include a concert by the rock group Cowboy Mouth between the home run derby and the fireworks display.
Long said he is hoping for a great response from veterans, along with members of the community who want to show their thanks to those who served.
“Simply, it is the right thing to do,” he said.
Ramsey, who has helped on numerous projects honoring veterans, said the parade and observance is “one of the best ideas I've heard in a long time,” especially for Korean and Vietnam War veterans.
“For these two wars, not very popular at the time, it just seems like a dream come true,” he said. “To have someone years later thank the men and women who endangered their lives in Korea, Vietnam and the Cold War is great. It comes as a wonderful gift.”
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