The Western Arkansas Veterans Coalition and Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority officials have determined that it is not in the best interest of area veterans, volunteers and spectators to host the 2020 Regional Veterans Day Parade in the Chaffee Crossing Historic District. The ninth annual parade was scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 8 but is now officially canceled.
Western Arkansas Veterans Coalition (WAVC) Veterans Day Parade Committee Chairman Army Specialist and Combat Veteran Tanya Taylor noted in a news release that the WAVC officers took their time and weighed the risks heavily before coming to the conclusion that the parade needs to be canceled due to the current global pandemic.
She says their first consideration was "the veterans because many of them volunteer to help organize the parade and participate in the parade in spite of health challenges. We just could not see putting them at risk. We were also concerned about people not being able to social distance on floats or spectators standing too close together on the parade route. It was our consensus that the safety of our community is more important than the event."
Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority President and CEO Daniel Mann said the coordinated decision to cancel the parade was not made lightly.
"For eight years this event has had significant impact on the lives of area veterans. It is unfortunate that circumstances present such a threat to the lives of people in our community, particularly veterans and those with high risk factors. We plan to pool our resources and do what we can to publicly thank our veterans in November. This was a hard decision, but it won’t stop us from thanking these brave heroes. They have earned our deepest thanks and appreciation."