LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - This year’s annual Veterans Day Parade is being setup a little differently, as the parade will be happening in reverse as a “drive-thru” event.
The parade, taking place in parking lot G of the Southeast Christian Church Blankenbaker campus, is called “A Drive Through a Corridor of Freedom.”
The City of Middletown and Southeast Christian Church are hosting this year’s parade, sponsored by UAW Local 862, Ford Motor Company, Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs, UPS and Brown-Forman.
Veterans who made it home from war are hoping this Veterans Day sparks conversation about what it means to be a veteran and an American.
“It seems you make friends in service and you remember for the rest of your life,” 94-year-old Navy Veteran John Mooney said.
Mooney served from 1944 to 1945. The veteran says there’s nothing like the camaraderie after going to war with a finite group of soldiers who all went through the same thing.
He watched a seemingly endless parade of cars with people inside waving and thanking soldiers for their service, in an unconventional procession.
Each year, people lining the streets and watching the military vehicles and soldiers go by, but for the 10th annual parade, the people drove through the route, while military were stationed on the side of what organizers called ‘the corridor of freedom.’
Mooney felt the sense of freedom.
“I’ve been sitting here, and things from 75 years ago, keep going through my head," Mooney said.
Wayne Hettinger, co-director of the parade, wanted veterans like Mooney to get out here to see that gratitude for freedom is not lost and their sacrifice still means everything.
“I hope it gives all the families to have a conversation about what veterans day means to young children growing up,” Hettinger said. “I think its something that we’re lacking. The younger generation is lost on what’s behind the freedoms and life style we all have.”
Marines, Army, Air Force, Navy, Red White and Blue all on display for the crowd. Bob Manning, who fought from 1968 to 1969, wore his Purple Heart Vietnam Army Veteran hat.
The humbled veteran celebrates the men and women back on home-front and remembering those soldiers who laid their life down.
Watch the full event here, on the WAVE 3 News mobile app and our streaming platforms.