.Pictures & Impressions from our Parade Weekend 2019


Letter of Support from our Mayor Don Denbow

Find the original letter here, and you can view a PDF version here.

Dear Citizens:

When one hears the word patriotism, what comes to mind? In a country as diverse and complex as the United States, the word takes on many meanings. True patriotism is a strong sense of pride in and connection to a nation that champions its people, loves its land, and learns from its history. Part of history is military conflict. These significant events and the men and women who engage in all aspects are often overlooked in favor of more modern, commercialized celebrations.

National Armed Forces Day, celebrated on the third Saturday in May, is a day parade organizers in Corsicana, Texas have determined to be a great day to recognize not only military veterans, but active military, along with the organizations who support the patriotic belief. The inaugural Texas Veterans Parade will move through historic Downtown Corsicana, along the brick streets and businesses. Participants will be recognized for their service to our country. I, and many of those who live here, can’t recall such a military parade in town for more than 30 years. The last military parade in the United States honored the end of the Gulf War, so what better time to display how we came to enjoy the freedoms we have.

The parade will be May 18, 2019, at 10:00 a.m. I am inviting anyone who is part of a group or organization with ties to any branch of military, active or retired, to join this parade. Youth groups are encouraged to attend and participate to experience the dedication these veterans show all of us.

The Grand Marshal is a recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor. Vintage military vehicles, a Commemorative Air Force Ground Force Detachment Unit, and a flyover by the Coyote Squadron of the Commemorative Air Force are all scheduled. Patriotic floats, marching bands, and the Corsicana High School U.S. Air Force ROTC will join the parade.

Any organizations interested in participating should contact Joe D. Hill, U.S. Navy (Retired) at (430) 775-0856 or visit the website at www.texasveteransparade.com for an application.

Don Denbow
City of Corsicana

Parade Route

Assembly: The rally points for the start of the parade are 4 lots in the vicinity of the Navarro County Courthouse in Corsicana (please refer to picture and PDF document below), beginning at 7:45 am on Saturday May 18, 2019.

Route: The Parade will begin and end near the Navarro County courthouse, on the intersection of 2nd Avenue with 13th Street (see Parade map), that is the intersection to the northwest of the Navarro County Court House. The Parade will begin on time, on Saturday May 18, 2019, at 10:00 am. Please use picture and document posted below for exact route information. A detailed description of the route is enclosed in the letter to all participants, which is also posted below.

Assembly Map:

(click on image will open larger version)


Route Map

(click on image will open larger version)

2019 TVP Route Information


National Champions, Navarro College Cheerleaders to Participate in Texas Veterans Parade

Friday April 12, 2019

TVP Co-Chair Joe Hill and Monica Aldama
TVP Co-Chair Joe Hill and Monica Aldama

Monica Aldama, Director of the National Champions Navarro College cheerleaders will bring part of her famous squad to participate in the Texas Veterans Parade, May 18 2019, in downtown Corsicana.  The Navarro Captains will also lead the Pledge of Allegiance at The medal of Honor Banquet at the Corsicana Country Club on Friday, May 17, the evening before the Parade.

Corsicana High School JV and Varsity Teams to March in Parade

Wednesday April 10, 2019

TVP Founder Bill McNutt and Coach Hal Wasson
TVP Founder Bill McNutt and Coach Hal Wasson

Corsicana Tiger football coach Hal Wasson once won 49 straight games at SouthLake Carroll High School. He is bringing his entire JV and Varsity teams to march May 18 In the Texas Veterans Parade in downtown Corsicana.

Go Tigers!

Texas Veterans Parade Co-Chair Joe Hill Receives Funds from Corsicana Visitors Bureau

Monday April 8, 2019

Pictured left to right: Joe D. Hill, co-chair of the newly formed Texas Veterans Parade-Corsicana committee, received a check from Jarod Gordon, Corsicana Visitors Bureau's Board Chair. The funds are earmarked for advertising and publicity of the Parade which will be helpd May 18 in Corsicana. This will be the first military parade in Corsicana since 1945.

Wednesday April 3, 2019

Great-Great-Great-Granddaughter of Jose Antonio Navarro to Speak in Corsicana & Participate in Texas Veterans Parade May 18, 2018

Corsicana, Texas – Saturday morning May 18, 2019 will be an exciting day in Navarro County. It is the inaugural Texas Veterans Parade on the historic brick streets of downtown Corsicana. A Veterans Parade in Corsicana is not new. It is the reestablishment of a tradition that goes back more than 100 years. The World War I Armistice parade in 1918 and 1945 World War II Victory Parade and Rodeo drew thousands of Texans.

The parade honors two local heroes, Candelario “Spider” Garcia, 2014 Medal of Honor recipient and the namesake of Navarro County, Jose Antonio Navarro. The Casa Navarro home in San Antonio is a National Historic Landmark and Corsicana was named for the birthplace of his father, the island of Corsica.

Bill McNutt, the founder of the Texas Veterans Parade, Corsicana, spoke with the great-great-great-granddaughter of the Tejano hero, Mr. Navarro, about their families’ excitement in being part of the festivities in Corsicana, May 17-18. She is Sylvia Navarro Tillotson

Q: If you could sum up your great-great-great-grandfather’s life in a few words, what would they be?
A: He loved Texas. He had a vision for the future of Texas and worked with his friend Stephen F Austin to turn that dream into reality.

Q: How has history judged him?
A: As the most influential Tejano leader of the Texas Revolution, really of the entire 19th century. Note: Tejanos are Hispanic citizens of Texas who descended from the French and Spanish. They choose independence over the tyranny of Mexico.

Q: We are excited about honoring Spider Garcia, the 1962 Corsicana High School graduate who received the Medal of Honor, and your ancestor. What do you think of the parade on May 18, 2019? You and your family are riding on the Daughters of the American Revolution Float.
A: We are very excited. I hope to gather more than a dozen of his descendants. During the annual Fiesta in San Antonio the Navarro descendants ride in the parade. There are more family members of Senator Navarro in San Antonio than any place else, since that is where he was born in 1795.

Q: What an amazing life Jose Antonio Navarro lived! What do you, as a direct descendent, appreciate the most about his life?
A: There are many amazing parts, so it is hard to choose. He was a famous Texas Patriot. In our family we grew up knowing about his outstanding character and how he was an expert in the laws of both Spain and Mexico, having served in the Mexican Congress in Mexico City. He risked so much. His sacrifice was deep and I relate to his feelings and great love for Texas.

Q: He was one of the few who signed the Declaration of Independence from Mexico and the Constitution. Which was more important?
A: He helped write the State Constitution. It is hard to know which document was more important. There are a lot of revolutions in history that end badly for the people.

Q: There is a Medal of Honor dinner at the Corsicana Country Club the night before the parade on Friday May 17, 2019. It will be a night to honor our history. We are blessed that one of Senator Navarro’s family will be speaking.
A: Yes. History has to be taught to each generation. I love your motto at the Texas Veterans Parade: "To Honor Texas Veterans of all wars and conflicts. To educate children about liberty and freedom."

Q: Tell us about famous Casa Navarro Home in San Antonio, the Casa Navarro Historic Site.
A: Today, that wonderful adobe and limestone home is a state historic site cared for by the Texas Historic Commission. A few years back the home became a National Historic Landmark and there are very few of them. It is one of the few original structures left in downtown San Antonio. Everyone from Corsicana and Navarro County should visit it. They would love it.

Q: How did the San Antonio Conservation society save it?
A: In 1960 it was going to be torn down. The city wanted the land for a new city government building. The Conservative society stepped in an saved it. The building had been many things. The Navarro daughter sold it and moved away. It had been a grocery store and a bar. Today, it is living Texas history you can visit. It has some cool high tech items throughout the museum to teach children and adults about our history.

Q: What role did you play in making all this happen?
A: I founded a group that raised the funds to make the most recent restoration possible.

Q: If people in Central Texas are going to read one book about him, what should they read?
A: Read Jose Antonio Navarro by David McDonald, who spent more than 20 years doing research. He has put together the factual information. There were inaccuracies about Navarro before David McDonald wrote. The book was published in 2012, so it is fresh.

Q: Is there a monument to your forefather in the State Cemetery in Austin?
A: The Texas State Cemetery has something special in his honor, a monument that is properly called a cenotaph. This is what you call a monument to someone buried elsewhere. The official tour stops at this spot and his history is told to all visitors.

Q: In Corsicana we all grew up looking at his big bronze statue on the courthouse lawn. If he could speak, what would he say?
A: Love Texas.

Q: Your great-great-great-grandfather took a large risk siding with the Anglo settlers against the tyranny of Santa Anna and Mexico. Any closing thoughts?
A: Yes, our family has always been risk takers. His father came from the island of Corsica. That is where the name of Corsicana came from. That was a great risk in the 18th century. We look forward to being part of the celebration at the Corsicana Country Club on Friday May 17, and the parade on Armed Forces day, May 18. Viva la Texas!

Tuesday March 26, 2019

World War II Combat Veteran and Japanese Prisoner of War Fiske Hanley to be Grand Marshall of Corsicana Veterans Parade 2019

Corsicana, Texas – The Texas Veterans Parade, Corsicana, Texas is pleased to announce the Grand Marshall of the 2019 parade on Saturday May 18, 2019, will be Fiske Hanley, a World War II combat veteran and former Japanese POW.

During his 7th combat bombing mission in early 1945, his B29 was shot down over Japan. Only 2 or the 10 crew members parachuted out of the flaming aircraft.
He was taken prisoner by the Kempei Tai Military Police. The Japanese treated every B29 crewman as war criminals, not Prisoners of War. Mr. Hanley was placed into a category called “Special Prisoner,” which resulted in receiving very severe and harsh treatment. He survived months of torture and confinement until his release from captivity after the Japanese surrender.

General Douglas MacArthur the Supreme Allied Commander in the Pacific invited Hanley to the deck of a ship in Tokyo Harbor, where he watched the momentous activities as the unconditional surrender treaty was signed aboard the battleship USS Missouri.

Corsicana has a long history of Veterans Parades. The World War II Armistice Parade of 1918 and the 1945 World War II Victory Parade and Rodeo drew thousands of Texans from across the Lone Star State.

Mr. Fiske will follow in footsteps of the most decorated American serviceman from World War II, Audie Murphy who was the Grand Marshall of the last Veterans Parade in Corsicana 74 years ago.

A lifelong resident of Ft Worth, Mr, Hanley graduated from Pascal High School in 1938 and Texas Tech University in 1943. “Over 2,000 flyers like me were shot down over Japan during the War” said Fiske “Only 200 of us survived the war.”
He also said “My life and the lives of thousands of other POW’s were saved by the Atomic bomb. The Japanese had orders to execute all American prisoners the minute the invasion of the Japanese mainland commenced.”

Mr. Hanley is portrayed in a Tom Hanks film at the World War II Museum in New Orleans called Beyond all Boundaries. Bill McNutt, the Founder of the Texas Veterans Parade, Corsicana and a friend of Mr. Hanley spoke about the book written by Fiske. “Accused America War Criminal” is a must read about Japanese atrocities to our brave airmen. Corsicana is one of the most patriotic towns in Texas and I know our good citizens will want to bring their children and grandchildren to the parade and have a photo made with Lt. Hanley. This is an important teaching moment for all who come out the 3rd Saturday in May to downtown Corsicana.”

When asked about his upcoming trip to Corsicana to serve as the Grand Marshall of the Corsicana Parade Fiske Hanley said “Parades are important. I remember marching as a Boy Scout in Texas Independence Day Parades and the Ft Worth Stock Show Parades back in the 1930’s. Children love parades and it demonstrates to them they come from a community that cares about veterans and honors veterans.”

Retired Navy Captain, and Corsicana resident, Joe Hill, the Co-Chairman of this years parade said “ We need Corsicana youth groups to march in the Parade. We also need vintage military vehicles and local service clubs to have floats. Please contact me at (430) 775-0856 with your ideas.”