Remebering Our Heros: Old Soldiers Day in Alpharetta
- July 26, 2012
- by: Katherine Cook
In the years following the War Between the States a group of veterans who lived in what was then Milton County (now North Fulton) would come together over several days in the then-tiny town of Alpharetta to remember their time in service and share camaraderie and their memories.
In 1920, so the story goes, a group of these elderly Confederate veterans were together in Alpharetta when some of the new veterans of the First World War came home to Milton County. One of the Confederate veterans asked these new, younger veterans to join them, assembling “to the rear” as they marched down Alpharetta’s Main Street.
Although they continued the tradition for as long as they could, just four years later, so many of the Confederate Veterans had passed away or were incapable of continuing the tradition that the parade was canceled.
However, in 1952, a group of Alpharetta citizens and veterans determined that the tradition now known as Old Soldier’s Day would not die, and took it upon themselves to begin the tradition anew. So on every first Saturday in August, the City of Alpharetta, her citizens, and all participants become ‘a living memorial’ to our men and women in uniform who have valiantly served our country for over 200 years.
The public is invited to enjoy or participate in all activities on Old Soldier’s Day, which this year is August 4th. The day will be filled with activities, starting with the 34th Annual Old Soldier’s Day Race at 7 am. The race is both a 5K and a 10K, with the course beginning in front of the Mansell House (on Old Milton Parkway) and continuing on Wills Road, Academy Street and the Alpharetta Highway. (The 10K is a modified version of the same loop.) For more information on the race call 678-297-6160.
At 9:15 am, the Alpharetta City Band will play at the Old Soldier’s Day Memorial Service at the Alpharetta City Hall which will be followed by the Memorial Service at 10 am. The Memorial will be followed by the Old Soldier’s Day Parade at 10:30.
The theme for this year’s parade is “Three Score and Forever More: Alpharetta Honors Veterans” and will feature marching bands, military units, floats, clowns, classic cars, and of course -candy. There will also be free Varsity hot dogs, sodas, and fun activities at the parade end at American Legion Post 201 on Wills Road.
For more information visit www.alpharetta.ga.us or call 678-297-6000.