Friday May 9, 2019
Corsicana, Texas – The Texas Veterans Parade in Corsicana, Texas, will honor current and past Military Veterans from all wars and conflicts on Armed Forces Day, Saturday morning May 18. The parade starts from the Navarro County Courthouse in Corsicana at 10:00am. Over 500 participants are scheduled to appear including Grand Marshall, Fiske Hanley, a World War II Combat Veteran, a military flyover, a ground forces attachment from Gainesville, Texas with a dozen vintage military vehicles, the Corsicana Tiger and Mildred Eagles marching bands, and much more.
The website is www.texasveteransparade.com
The Texas Veterans Parade 33 person board of directors announces the creation of the following Awards & Honors. They will be bestowed upon the recipients at the Collin Street Bakery Medal of Honor dinner at the Corsicana Country Club on Friday night May 17, 2019 at 6:30pm (a few limited tickets are still available at $39 by calling (430) 775-0856.
Navarro County’s finest volunteers have worked tirelessly in the production of this Parade to honor Texas Veterans. Each award is named after a prominent former Corsicana resident in honor of their service to this city and to our country.
Navarro-Garcia Patriot Award
The highest honor given from Navarro County, Texas for Patriotism. It is given annually to an American citizen who has demonstrated selfless service and leadership in the promotion and honoring of Veterans from the Lone Star State and beyond. The award is named for Jose Antonio Navarro, the namesake of Navarro County, who signed the Texas Declaration of Independence and wrote parts of the Texas Constitution. And, for Candelario “Spider” Garcia, 1962 Corsicana High School graduate, who received the Congressional Medal of Honor from President Obama in March of 2014. The honorees name is affixed to a beautiful permanent plaque that includes a World War II American rifle, that is on display in Corsicana in a prominent place.
Texas Governor Beauford Jester Award
Given to the Texas Veterans Parade Volunteer who is a Veteran of the United States Armed Forces, who makes the greatest contribution to the Texas Veterans Parade in Corsicana in a given year. This person demonstrates during the year vital qualities of leadership including inspiring others, creativity and getting things accomplished. The award is named for Beauford Jester from Corsicana who served his country in World War I and as the 36th Governor of Texas.
James Acree Award
Given to the Texas Veterans Parade Volunteer of the year who is not a military veteran. To a person who has worked during the last year with great determination and effort to making the Texas Veterans Parade in Corsicana, Texas a success. This award is named for James Acree, a Veteran of the Korean War who served as Corsicana High School’s football coach from 1960 to 1966, winning the AAA Texas State Championship in 1963 with a perfect record of 14-0. Jim Acree was a man of great determination and perseverance. His qualities are embodied in this award.
Friday April 12, 2019
Monica Aldama, Director of the National Champions Navarro College cheerleaders will bring part of her famous squad to participate in the Texas Veterans Parade, May 18 2019, in downtown Corsicana. The Navarro Captains will also lead the Pledge of Allegiance at The medal of Honor Banquet at the Corsicana Country Club on Friday, May 17, the evening before the Parade.
Wednesday April 10, 2019
Corsicana Tiger football coach Hal Wasson once won 49 straight games at SouthLake Carroll High School. He is bringing his entire JV and Varsity teams to march May 18 In the Texas Veterans Parade in downtown Corsicana.
Monday April 8, 2019
Pictured left to right: Joe D. Hill, co-chair of the newly formed Texas Veterans Parade-Corsicana committee, received a check from Jarod Gordon, Corsicana Visitors Bureau’s Board Chair. The funds are earmarked for advertising and publicity of the Parade which will be helpd May 18 in Corsicana. This will be the first military parade in Corsicana since 1945.
Wednesday April 3, 2019
Great-Great-Great-Granddaughter of Jose Antonio Navarro to Speak in Corsicana & Participate in Texas Veterans Parade May 18, 2018
Corsicana, Texas – Saturday morning May 18, 2019 will be an exciting day in Navarro County. It is the inaugural Texas Veterans Parade on the historic brick streets of downtown Corsicana. A Veterans Parade in Corsicana is not new. It is the reestablishment of a tradition that goes back more than 100 years. The World War I Armistice parade in 1918 and 1945 World War II Victory Parade and Rodeo drew thousands of Texans.
The parade honors two local heroes, Candelario “Spider” Garcia, 2014 Medal of Honor recipient and the namesake of Navarro County, Jose Antonio Navarro. The Casa Navarro home in San Antonio is a National Historic Landmark and Corsicana was named for the birthplace of his father, the island of Corsica.
Bill McNutt, the founder of the Texas Veterans Parade, Corsicana, spoke with the great-great-great-granddaughter of the Tejano hero, Mr. Navarro, about their families’ excitement in being part of the festivities in Corsicana, May 17-18. She is Sylvia Navarro Tillotson
Q: If you could sum up your great-great-great-grandfather’s life in a few words, what would they be?
A: He loved Texas. He had a vision for the future of Texas and worked with his friend Stephen F Austin to turn that dream into reality.
Q: How has history judged him?
A: As the most influential Tejano leader of the Texas Revolution, really of the entire 19th century. Note: Tejanos are Hispanic citizens of Texas who descended from the French and Spanish. They choose independence over the tyranny of Mexico.
Q: We are excited about honoring Spider Garcia, the 1962 Corsicana High School graduate who received the Medal of Honor, and your ancestor. What do you think of the parade on May 18, 2019? You and your family are riding on the Daughters of the American Revolution Float.
A: We are very excited. I hope to gather more than a dozen of his descendants. During the annual Fiesta in San Antonio the Navarro descendants ride in the parade. There are more family members of Senator Navarro in San Antonio than any place else, since that is where he was born in 1795.
Q: What an amazing life Jose Antonio Navarro lived! What do you, as a direct descendent, appreciate the most about his life?
A: There are many amazing parts, so it is hard to choose. He was a famous Texas Patriot. In our family we grew up knowing about his outstanding character and how he was an expert in the laws of both Spain and Mexico, having served in the Mexican Congress in Mexico City. He risked so much. His sacrifice was deep and I relate to his feelings and great love for Texas.
Q: He was one of the few who signed the Declaration of Independence from Mexico and the Constitution. Which was more important?
A: He helped write the State Constitution. It is hard to know which document was more important. There are a lot of revolutions in history that end badly for the people.
Q: There is a Medal of Honor dinner at the Corsicana Country Club the night before the parade on Friday May 17, 2019. It will be a night to honor our history. We are blessed that one of Senator Navarro’s family will be speaking.
A: Yes. History has to be taught to each generation. I love your motto at the Texas Veterans Parade: “To Honor Texas Veterans of all wars and conflicts. To educate children about liberty and freedom.”
Q: Tell us about famous Casa Navarro Home in San Antonio, the Casa Navarro Historic Site.
A: Today, that wonderful adobe and limestone home is a state historic site cared for by the Texas Historic Commission. A few years back the home became a National Historic Landmark and there are very few of them. It is one of the few original structures left in downtown San Antonio. Everyone from Corsicana and Navarro County should visit it. They would love it.
Q: How did the San Antonio Conservation society save it?
A: In 1960 it was going to be torn down. The city wanted the land for a new city government building. The Conservative society stepped in an saved it. The building had been many things. The Navarro daughter sold it and moved away. It had been a grocery store and a bar. Today, it is living Texas history you can visit. It has some cool high tech items throughout the museum to teach children and adults about our history.
Q: What role did you play in making all this happen?
A: I founded a group that raised the funds to make the most recent restoration possible.
Q: If people in Central Texas are going to read one book about him, what should they read?
A: Read Jose Antonio Navarro by David McDonald, who spent more than 20 years doing research. He has put together the factual information. There were inaccuracies about Navarro before David McDonald wrote. The book was published in 2012, so it is fresh.
Q: Is there a monument to your forefather in the State Cemetery in Austin?
A: The Texas State Cemetery has something special in his honor, a monument that is properly called a cenotaph. This is what you call a monument to someone buried elsewhere. The official tour stops at this spot and his history is told to all visitors.
Q: In Corsicana we all grew up looking at his big bronze statue on the courthouse lawn. If he could speak, what would he say?
A: Love Texas.
Q: Your great-great-great-grandfather took a large risk siding with the Anglo settlers against the tyranny of Santa Anna and Mexico. Any closing thoughts?
A: Yes, our family has always been risk takers. His father came from the island of Corsica. That is where the name of Corsicana came from. That was a great risk in the 18th century. We look forward to being part of the celebration at the Corsicana Country Club on Friday May 17, and the parade on Armed Forces day, May 18. Viva la Texas!
About the Texas Veterans Parade:
The Texas Veterans Parade, Corsicana exists to honor Texas Veterans from all Wars and Conflict and to teach our children about the sacrifices of Veterans, liberty and freedom. To participate in the parade, telephone (430) 775-0856.
The parade will start at 10:00 AM on Saturday May 18, 2019 at the Navarro County Courthouse in Corsicana, Texas. The renown Pearce Civil War Museum and Collin Street Bakery will both be open.
Tuesday March 26, 2019
World War II Combat Veteran and Japanese Prisoner of War Fiske Hanley to be Grand Marshall of Corsicana Veterans Parade 2019
Corsicana, Texas – The Texas Veterans Parade, Corsicana, Texas is pleased to announce the Grand Marshall of the 2019 parade on Saturday May 18, 2019, will be Fiske Hanley, a World War II combat veteran and former Japanese POW.
During his 7th combat bombing mission in early 1945, his B29 was shot down over Japan. Only 2 or the 10 crew members parachuted out of the flaming aircraft.
He was taken prisoner by the Kempei Tai Military Police. The Japanese treated every B29 crewman as war criminals, not Prisoners of War. Mr. Hanley was placed into a category called “Special Prisoner,” which resulted in receiving very severe and harsh treatment. He survived months of torture and confinement until his release from captivity after the Japanese surrender.
General Douglas MacArthur the Supreme Allied Commander in the Pacific invited Hanley to the deck of a ship in Tokyo Harbor, where he watched the momentous activities as the unconditional surrender treaty was signed aboard the battleship USS Missouri.
Corsicana has a long history of Veterans Parades. The World War II Armistice Parade of 1918 and the 1945 World War II Victory Parade and Rodeo drew thousands of Texans from across the Lone Star State.
Mr. Fiske will follow in footsteps of the most decorated American serviceman from World War II, Audie Murphy who was the Grand Marshall of the last Veterans Parade in Corsicana 74 years ago.
A lifelong resident of Ft Worth, Mr, Hanley graduated from Pascal High School in 1938 and Texas Tech University in 1943. “Over 2,000 flyers like me were shot down over Japan during the War” said Fiske “Only 200 of us survived the war.”
He also said “My life and the lives of thousands of other POW’s were saved by the Atomic bomb. The Japanese had orders to execute all American prisoners the minute the invasion of the Japanese mainland commenced.”
Mr. Hanley is portrayed in a Tom Hanks film at the World War II Museum in New Orleans called Beyond all Boundaries. Bill McNutt, the Founder of the Texas Veterans Parade, Corsicana and a friend of Mr. Hanley spoke about the book written by Fiske. “Accused America War Criminal” is a must read about Japanese atrocities to our brave airmen. Corsicana is one of the most patriotic towns in Texas and I know our good citizens will want to bring their children and grandchildren to the parade and have a photo made with Lt. Hanley. This is an important teaching moment for all who come out the 3rd Saturday in May to downtown Corsicana.”
When asked about his upcoming trip to Corsicana to serve as the Grand Marshall of the Corsicana Parade Fiske Hanley said “Parades are important. I remember marching as a Boy Scout in Texas Independence Day Parades and the Ft Worth Stock Show Parades back in the 1930’s. Children love parades and it demonstrates to them they come from a community that cares about veterans and honors veterans.”
Retired Navy Captain, and Corsicana resident, Joe Hill, the Co-Chairman of this years parade said “ We need Corsicana youth groups to march in the Parade. We also need vintage military vehicles and local service clubs to have floats. Please contact me at (430) 775-0856 with your ideas.”
About the TexasVeterans Parade, Corsicana
The Texas Veterans Parade, Corsicana exists to honor Texas Veterans from all Wars and Conflicts. To teach our children about the sacrifices of Veterans, liberty and freedom. Our website is www.texasveteransparade.com
The parade will start at 10:00 AM on Saturday May 18, 2019 at the Navarro County Courthouse in Corsicana, Texas
Members of the Board of Directors of the Parade include Ned Easternling, Roger Hardie, Larry Hodges, Bryan Jewel, Tripp Bryant, Mary Ann McCalpin, Brian McDaniel, Roy Messick, Billy Richardson, Connie Standridge, Gerry York, Don Summerall, Chris Woolse, Kathy Meistchleger, and 19 additional board members.