Salute to Our Troops

Parade & Celebration
July 19-20, 2013

The City of Winchester is currently planning a new event to honor our veterans, current military personnel and our nation’s history.

In addition to honoring our nation’s troops, this inaugural event will also celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the armistice signing that brought an end to the fighting during the Korean War, a dedication of the Korean War Memorial in Jim Barnett Park and the 100th Anniversary of the Buffalo Soldiers’ march into Winchester on July 19, 1913.

July 19, 2013 Activities:

7:00-9:00 pm - Candlelight Vigil
POW/MIA Memorial in Jim Barnett Park

July 20, 2013 Activities:

Click here for downtown parking and street closure information.

8:00 am – Marine Flag Raising in Mt. Hebron Cemetery (come see this formal flag raising ceremony with the enormous 15’ x 25’ flag)

9:30 am - 6:00 pm – The Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum will be open and will also offer games on the walking mall

10:00 am – Korean War Memorial Dedication, Jim Barnett Park (adjacent to the POW/MIA Memorial)

Noon - 6:00 pm - Celebration Event, Loudoun Street Mall
Live music, exhibitors, great food and more

1:00 pm - Parade, Old Town Winchester
Route: Piccadilly at Cameron to Braddock to Cork at Cameron
Street closures: Cameron Street will be blocked starting at 11:30 am. Other parade route streets and the Braddock Parking Garage will also be closed starting at 11:30 until the conclusion of the parade around 2:30 pm.

2:30 pm – POW talk free to the public at the Godfrey Miller House, 28 S. Loudoun St.

3:15 pm – Snow White Grill Hotdog Eating Contest

3:30 pm – Buffalo Soldiers Presentation at the Godfrey Miller House, 28 S. Loudoun St.
4:30 pm – Samantha Navarette talk free to the public at the Godfrey Miller House, 28 S. Loudoun St.

6:00-10:00 pm - Shenandoah Moonlight Ball
First Presbyterian Church, Old Town Winchester
Learn Civil War-period dances taught by the Victorian Dance Ensemble while enjoying the unique sounds of the Susquehanna Travellers. Wear period, formal or casual attire. $5 per person

Buffalo Soldiers 100th Anniversary Salute

On July 19, 1913 the 10th U.S. Calvary, which included 680 troopers and 30 officers, rode into Winchester approximately one month after beginning their 706-mile trek from North Ferrisburg, Vermont.  Many of the troopers were sons of freed slaves.  Others were descendants of black Civil War veterans.  The Calvary was named “Buffalo Soldiers” after the Cheyenne honored them with the name for their skin color, for their short, wooly hair and most of all, for their fierceness in battle.  This all-black regiment (excluding officers) was handpicked for this peacetime maneuver and marched into Winchester playing the popular Confederate anthem, “Dixie”.  For the next two months, the cavalryman would engage in tactical maneuvers, simulated war games, field exercises and horsemanship and saber competitions for the visitors who went to the camp site to see what the group was up to.  On September 30th, the cavalry left Winchester and traveled to Roslyn and later performed exercises before President Woodrow Wilson.  On October 11, 1913, the regiment left by train to return to Fort Ethan Allen in Vermont.

However, shortly after returning to Vermont, the Buffalo Soldiers were sent to patrol the Mexican border and later they fought in both world wars and in Korea.  It was in Korea where the last all-black regiment (24th Infantry) was to see action before the armed forces were desegregated in 1952.

In the 1990s, White Post natives, Houston Wedlock and Stanley Lawson along with Isaac Prentice of Fort Washington, MD formed the “Research Re-enactors” to pay tribute to the Buffalo Soldiers while participating in community outreach and educational activities.  The group takes the Buffalo Soldiers’ story to schools, churches and community events while donning distinctive period uniforms.  For the Salute to Our Troops event, the group will bring their horses, ride in the parade and greet the public on the Loudoun Street Mall after the parade. 

Source: Winchester Star article by Adrian O’Connor, “A Moment in History” published on September 27, 2003 

Korean War 60th Anniversary Salute and Memorial Dedication

The Korean War Veterans Association charter states that one of the main goals of the Association is "to honor the memory of men and women who gave their lives so that the U.S. and the world might be free and live by the creation of living memorials, monuments and other forms of additional education, cultural and recreational facilities."  The Shenandoah Valley Chapter 313, Korean War Veterans Association strives to do just that by constructing a War Memorial to Veterans of the Korean War.  The location, which was approved by the Winchester Parks Advisory Board at the regular meeting in July and City Council on August 14th, is in Jim Barnett Park adjacent to the POW-MIA Memorial on Maple Drive.  The groundbreaking ceremony was held on March 2nd in Jim Barnett Park.

Although the Korean War is often referred to as the "Forgotten War", the thousands of living Korean War Veterans across the country will never forget what they saw, accomplished and fought for during the war.  The Korean War has technically never ended, but the fighting took place from June 1950 to July 1953. During these three years, 33,741 U.S. men and women were killed in action.  More than 103,000 were wounded and 7,140 were listed as prisoners of war.  Approximately 8,000 still remain missing or unaccounted for.  This new memorial in Jim Barnett Park is a way to remember those brave individuals in our community and surrounding counties who served during the bitter conflict. 

The Memorial will consist of three granite sections.  The large center piece will feature an engraving of the Korean peninsula and the two smaller sections, one on each side will randomly list 62 veterans killed in Korea from the following areas:

- Winchester City (VA)                                   - Frederick County (VA)
- Clarke County (VA)                                      - Warren County (VA)
- Shenandoah County (VA)                          - Jefferson County (WV)
- Berkeley County (WV)                                 - Hardy County (WV)
- Hampshire County (WV)                            - Morgan County (WV)

A walkway will connect the POW-MIA Memorial and the Korean War Memorial and a brick "Path of Honor" will lead the way to the large granite pieces and U.S. flag.  Flanking both sides of the Path of Honor will be five pair of bronze military boots representing the five military branches of service (i.e. Air Force, Navy, Army, Marines and Coast Guard). 

The Memorial in Jim Barnett Park is expected to be completed in the summer of 2013 and dedicated on the morning of July 20, 2013 near the 60th anniversary of the armistice signing on July 27, 1953.

The Department of Defense is currently celebrating a 60th Anniversary of the Korean War Commemoration which includes many celebratory events and educational outreach activities across the country.  For more information, please visit www.koreanwar60.com.

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City of Winchester, Virginia
15 North Cameron Street  •  Winchester, VA 22601
540-667-1815
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