The theme for the 2011 Fort Vancouver Veterans Parade held in Vancouver, Washington on Saturday, November 5, commemorated the many Civil War Veterans buried in the Pacific Northwest. The Grand Marshal for the parade held on and around the grounds of Fort Vancouver were the authentically uniformed military re-enactors of the 1st Oregon Volunteer Infantry, who waved at the enthusiastic crowds lining Officers Row and Fort Vancouver Way.

The Oregon Civil War 150th Commission was also represented, and Frank Krone carried a replica of the American flag flown at Fort Sumter, the Union fort in Charleston, South Carolina where the first shots of the war were fired 150 years ago in April 1861. Many special events are being planned by several history organizations in Oregon to honor the more than 15,000 Civil War veterans who moved to Oregon to start new lives after the war and contributed to the growth and prosperity of the newly minted state (admitted in 1859).

Krone explained to interested bystanders after the parade that..."many military leaders of the Civil War were stationed at Fort Vancouver, or in Oregon; and were recalled to the East Coast at the start of the War," he said. "The list of the recalled Union officers reads like a Who's Who of the Civil War," he continued. "This included George McClellan, Joshua Sill, and Phillip Sheridan (who was stationed at Fort Yamhill, Oregon). The Fort Vancouver officers who resigned from the Union to lead Confederate troops included George Pickett (Pickett's Charge), William Wing Loring and George Crittenden."

The parade also included re-enactors from the local Buffalo Soldiers organization riding their impressive mounts, and they were representing soldiers who mostly served in the United States Army after the Civil War. Some Buffalo Soldiers were former slaves who also served in the United States Colored Troops (USCT) during the Civil War. Others were the sons of former slaves who served with distinction in the West, where several members were recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor.

More than 100 military, veteran and civic organizations were ably represented at the Fort Vancouver 2011 Veterans Day Parade, one of the largest veterans parades on the West Coast. High School bands and ROTC groups,equestrian units, military and veteran units, and Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops marched through the Fort Vancouver National Site, oblivious to the scattered showers and chilly morning temperature. Historian and NPS Ranger Greg Shine spoke about the Civil War and Fort Vancouver at a special program held later at the Fort Vancouver Historical Site. 

Despite the overcast skies and chilly temperature, the 25th Annual Veterans Parade managed by the Fort Vancouver Trust, and sponsored by the Lough Family Legacy was a heartwarming success.