CRESTVIEW — After weighing logistics, the City Council unanimously approved holding this year’s Veterans Day events on the actual Nov. 11 holiday.
Following a motion by Councilman Mickey Rytman, the council voted unanimously to hold the city's Veterans Day observation events on Nov. 11.
Pinki Jimison, representing event organizers from the city's various veterans organizations, had asked the council to permit holding the parade on the holiday instead of the Saturday before.
"I can add since the last council meeting, a lot of veterans have approached me and are really gung ho on this," Jimison said at Monday evening's council meeting.
The day would begin with the 9 a.m. parade up Main Street to the Okaloosa County Veterans Memorial near the courthouse. An 11 a.m. "Wall Ceremony" will be held at the memorial.
Public Works Director Wayne Steele said moving the parade from Saturday to the Monday holiday would affect his department "significantly," as workers would have to receive holiday pay.
"If you have businesses open, all of those cars have to be moved and the street vacated and we have to get everything set up," Steele said.
Police Chief Tony Taylor said his department would also experience an impact because auxiliary officers who generally work during downtown parades may be unable to leave their full-time jobs, requiring full-time officers to take their place.
Veteran Fletcher Williams Jr., who has organized previous Veterans Day parades for the city, cautioned against the change.
"I understand the desire to have everything on one day," Williams said. "The problem is, the parade is more for the citizens to recognize the veterans and not the other way around. Not everyone is off on Veterans Day."
City Councilman Shannon Hayes, however, said honoring the city's veterans is more important than budgetary impacts.
"What is more important: Veterans who have given their lives or a dollar bill?" Hayes said.
Contact News Bulletin Staff Writer Brian Hughes at 850-682-6524 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @cnbBrian.