MERCEDES — The Veterans Parade held in Mercedes will take place once again Nov. 11 to celebrate and honor those who served in the armed forces.

“We are tying to bring the community together,” said Juan Moya, Mercedes Veterans Parade organizer.

Moya said more than 50 parade entrees are scheduled to show their spirit saluting all the brave men and women who have served to defend freedom.

Area JROTCs, school bands, Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts are some of the parade participants who have registered.

Area green berets also plan to ride in the parade through downtown Mer-cedes Saturday starting at 5 p.m.

The parade dates back to 1996.

“It started out as a small parade, and at this point we have 54 entries and receiving more,” said Alonso Calvio, Veterans Parade event organizer.

A special unit activated by President John F. Kennedy also will be honored and introduced following the parade.

“The unit was activated during the Berlin Wall crisis in 1961 by President Kennedy,” Moya said.

He said the unit named Company D, 4 ARB, 144 TH Armored Division was under the command Gerald R. McManus of Harlingen.

Moya called the unit training a stepping stone for a lot of local members of the National Guard to pursue military careers.

Local veteran Julio Ovalle will serve as the guest speaker at the dinner event for all veterans and one guest each.

Ovalle is a member of the first graduating JROTC class in Mercedes.

“We welcome all vets to come enjoy the parade and a meal with their fellow brothers and sisters at arms,” said Robert Ruiz, American Legion Post 172 commander.

If You Go:

Mercedes on Nov. 11

7 a.m. – Raising of the Flag at Mercedes city hall

8 a.m. – veterans breakfast

5 p.m. – patriotic pa-rade

6 p.m. veterans dinner at livestock show grounds Youth Center.

If You Go

Mercedes on Nov. 11

7 a.m. – Raising of the Flag at Mercedes city hall

8 a.m. – veterans breakfast

5 p.m. – patriotic pa-rade

6 p.m. veterans dinner at livestock show grounds Youth Center.