Memorial Day Parade decorations in Thomasville - 5/24/13.
Thomasville, NC -- Budget cuts and the government's sequester will change what visitors see at this year's Thomasville Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony. However, organizers say they promise the event will be just as meaningful as it has been in the past.
The US Army Band, based out of Washington, DC, was originally planning to perform. However, the government's budget issues cancelled that plan. Instead, members of the Fort Bragg US Army band will perform.
For the past 26 years, the North Carolina National Guard provided a combat helicopter. In addition, active duty military personnel marched in the parade and drove tanks, rocket launchers and other equipment. This year, civilians driving vintage military vehicles will take their place. It's all because of budget cuts.
"The people that are handling the budget of the United States ought to be cutting something other than a ceremony like this that honors those that gave their life for American freedom," Thomasville Parade CEO Joe Leonard said. "If we don't honor the people that have made the sacrifice they did, then we've got a certain amount of people in our country that won't know about it."
Seeing paratroopers jump out of an aircraft is always a highlight of the parade. This year, retired paratroopers will make the jump.
Triad Memorial Day Events
Bottom line, organizers have tried to compensate for everything they lost to ensure families and veterans still enjoy the event. It starts at 11 a.m. Monday.