By Jeri Borst
A parade has been set to salute those who serve the community. Residents and supporters of law enforcement and first responders are invited to participate in the Parade of Heroes to be held Saturday, Aug. 1 at 6:30 p.m.
The parade will start at The Crossing, proceed down Mena Street, turn right on Sherwood Avenue, turn right on DeQueen Street and end at the police station.
The event was organized by Polk County Backs the Blue, which aims to bring the community closer to the individuals who serve it.
“In such unprecedented times, there has to be a bridge to close the gap between the brave men and women that protect and serve their communities and those that embody that community,” said Cody Shores, PCBB founder.
“[This is to show] our local law enforcement, firefighters, EMTs, paramedics, first responders and so many more that serve us all daily on the frontlines, that we here in Polk County, Arkansas support, love and appreciate all that they do.”
Those invited to participate in the parade line up include Marine Corp League flag line and local boy scouts, Polk County Sheriff’s Department and area police departments, Mena Fire Department and rural volunteer fire departments, EMTs and paramedics, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Office of Emergency Management and AirEvac.
Heroes will be offered a meal, sponsored by Mena Elks Lodge, preceding the parade on the courthouse lawn. Mena Mayor Seth Smith will speak to the heroes and the public is invited to participate.
“Help us ‘Blue Out’ Mena’” Shores said. “Business signs, yard signs, the blue bulb in the porch light, etc. Let’s turn Mena Blue.”
Shores said it is important to him to convey a message of support to law enforcement and responders.
“Watching TV and seeing all of the chaos, ruckus and destruction in the country really affected me,” Shores said. “This was the base of my drive and motivation to start this organization and hold the Parade of Heroes. I had seen where there were several “Back the Blue” rallies throughout the country and the great responses of those events gave me chills.
“Thinking of all of the officers and individuals that suit up every single day to protect our community, our children, our homes, etc. and doing so with what may feel like the very ones they swore to protect are against them is just unimaginable,” Shores continued. “Unfortunately, in these times, it’s a reality. I have faith that our great community here in Polk County, can show that isn’t the case here.
“We can help as a community,” he concluded. “That we as a community back them all and are so grateful and appreciative of their sacrifices and oaths to protect us all here in Polk County.”
Shores said the organization, founded earlier this month, has received a positive response from the community.
“I have received such great feedback and support from our community,” he said. “It really puts appreciation into perspective to be a member of such an amazing community.”
For more information email email@example.com or visit @polkcobackstheblue on Facebook.