The History of the Texas Veterans Parade
The charter of the Texas Veterans Parade is simple, yet powerful:
"To honor Texas Veterans from all wars and conflicts, to educate children/students about Freedom, Liberty and the sacrifices of Veterans"
Texas Military Veterans are citizen-soldiers who have unfailingly answered the call of duty from the time of the Alamo and San Jacinto, to Gettysburg, and Chickamauga, to Anzio, and the Battle of Midway, from Vietnam to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Texas Veterans were led by courageous leaders like "Victory or Death" William Barrett Travis, Mirabeau B. Lamar, John Bell Hood, Chester W. Nimitz, and Richard Edward Cavazos.
Over 50 Texans have received the Congressional Medal of Honor, including 31 in World War II, 13 in Vietnam. Corsicana's own Candelario "Spider" Garcia is one of these heroes.
Bill McNutt III, the son of a World War II Army Sergeant, is the Founder of the Texas Veterans Parade, Corsicana. A 1973 graduate of Corsicana High School, Bill was named to the Texas Football Magazine 25th Silver Anniversary Football team for Corsicana, earned his MBA from Vanderbilt University, and served in the Reagan White House.
Mr. McNutt worked for World War II hero George Herbert Walker Bush on three separate occasions, including the 1988-89 President Transition Team. Bill found business success in Silicon Valley, helping more than 80 tech startup companies. All the while, he never lost his deep love for the people and traditions of Navarro County, where Corsicana serves as the county seat.
One evening Mr. McNutt asked his 9-year-old daughter Slone what she thought Corsicana could do to honor Texas Veterans. She unhesitatingly said: "Daddy, have a parade. Soldiers like to march and kids love a parade."
McNutt was assisted by Parade Chairman Joe Hill, retired Navy Captain. On January 25, 2019, after months of planning, McNutt convened a meeting of like-minded citizens at the public library with the goal of doing the Inaugural Texas Veterans Parade on the date assigned by Corsicana Mayor Don Denbow, Saturday, May 18, 2019.
"In all that we do", says Mr. McNutt, "we channel the energy, love, and duty to Texas displayed by our two local heroes Jose Antonio Navarro, one of the first signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution of the Republic of Texas. And, Candelario 'Spider' Garcia, our Medal of Honor recipient from Vietnam. Both men are represented by splendid statues on the Navarro County courthouse lawn. José Navarro also selected the name, Corsicana, for our town."
"From the defenders of the Alamo to Johnny Reb, from Doughboys to World War II GI's and on to the War on Terror, the Texas Veteran embodies duty, honor, and country," says Mr. McNutt. "They deserve a tribute parade every day of the year. We only ask our fellow Texans to bring their children and turn out one day a year to honor all Texas Veterans from all wars and conflicts."
"We can retire from our jobs, even our civic organizations, but we can never retire from gratitude and the admonishment of the Bible that tells us to honor our mothers and our fathers. I do my work in honor of a World War II Sgt, L. William McNutt, Jr., who was my father and a 1942 graduate of Corsicana High School."