By Adam Pack
The annual Parade of Lights is returning to Greenbrier County this weekend. The Parade of Lights, a display of first responder’s vehicles through town, honors those who lost their lives during the 9/11 attacks.
The parade will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Midway at the State Fairgrounds. After all emergency vehicles are present, parade goers will be able to see a “Show And Tell” of vehicles and equipment, capped off by a landing of a Healthnet Helicopter, weather and ground conditions permitting.
The Greenbrier County Sheriff’s Department will also be present with their kids fingerprinting trailer, which is a free service providing parents with identification cards that aid in the search for missing children. There will also be demonstrations of the county’s K9 units, as well as dogs from the West Virginia Search and Rescue K9 unit.
After these festivities and beginning at dusk the parade will start its route. Starting at the fairgrounds, it will pass through Fairlea on Rt. 219 on its way to Lowe’s. Once there, the parade will turn around and reenter the fairgrounds. Afterwards, at the grounds, speakers will address the crowds, speaking on the day to day experience of first responders, as well on the necessity of keeping the memory of 9/11 and those that perished alive. Speaking at the event will be Frank Jones, Chief of Alderson Fire Department and President of the Greenbrier County First Responder’s Association; Lt. Bart Baker of the Greenbrier County Sheriff’s Department; and James Hylton, Chief Deputy of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department. A candlelight vigil for all that were lost, first responder and civilians, will then be observed.
Jeff Doss, parade organizer and captain with the Clintonville Volunteer Fire Department, spoke of the significance of the parade. “You know, there are deputies and firefighters and EMS staff now that weren’t even alive [on 9/11]. It’d be a real tragedy if the significance of this day were lost on the succeeding generations. If you were to take the combined first responder staff of Greenbrier County, police, fire, EMS, 911 staff, everyone, it still wouldn’t equal the number of people who died on that day. It truly was an attack on America and what happened and what so many brave people did deserves to be remembered.”
He and the first responders of Greenbrier County are honored to present such a memorial, and encourage the public to attend.