Jan Johnson's son, Justin,was killed in Iraq in 2004. Dean proclaimed June 16 Iraq Veterans Day in Georgia. Deal called the fallen soldier a hero.
11:35 a.m.:Broad Street and Glenn Milner Boulevard have reopened after today's parade to honor veterans. The governor is scheduled to speak at The Forum at 1 p.m.
Click here to send us your photos.Please label them Parade and identify the people if possible. 11 a.m.:A line of motorcycles roared down Broad Street as a parade to honor veterans of the Iraq War begins.
10:45 a.m.:Traffic on Broad Street has been closed as crowds gather for this morning's parade to honor veterans of the Iraq war. The parade is scheduled to start at 11 a.m.
10:15 a.m.:A parade to honor Iraq War veterans will begin at 11 a.m. and will roll down Broad Street from 8th Avenue. The temperatures should not be uncomfortable. It was about 74 degrees in Rome around 10 a.m., according to the National Weather Service.
9:45 a.m.:Stella Calderon of Rome's Legion Post 5 stood proudly holding a basket of green plastic wristbands as she waited for the veterans to pull into the parking lot of the Federal Building before the parade.
"It's going to be a big thing," said Calderon. "It's great."
Calderon and several other Post members handed out the wristbands to Iraq veterans and their spouses, who will also get them a free meal later on today at The Forum. They're looking forward to the parade, in the planning since January, and are prepared with approximately 1,500 wristbands.
9:15 a.m.:Parade participants have begun lining up along Glenn Milner Boulevard for today's parade to honor Iraq War veterans. The parade is scheduled to start at 11 a.m. Veterans have begun arriving at the Federal Building.
8:30 a.m. A handful of Romans have already gathered at the Federal Building at East First Street where troops are scheduled to arrive today for the military parade.
Previously posted:After weeks of preparation, the day of the Georgia Honors Iraq War Veterans parade is here.
Thousands of people from around the region are expected to be in downtown Rome today to honor those who served.
While the parade officially begins at 11 a.m., a motorcycle processional down Broad Street and two flyovers — one by TigerFlight and one by the U.S. Navy — will precede the parade at about 10:50 a.m.
The Third Avenue parking deck will be open, and parade spectators can park there at no charge from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., according to Becky Smyth, parking manager for the Downtown Development Authority.
Parking in the decks on Fourth Avenue and Sixth Avenue will also be free today.
Soldiers are expected to arrive in Rome at different times before the start of the parade and will go to the federal building on First Street to get armbands that will identify them as veterans, said Linda Liles with the Ladies Auxiliary of Post 5 of the American Legion.
Only veterans with the armbands will be provided a free lunch at The Forum following the parade. Concessions will be available for others to purchase.
The floats, bands and marchers are expected to begin lining up at Glenn Milner Boulevard at 10 a.m.
Broad Street from Eighth Avenue to Second Avenue and Second Avenue from Broad Street to the levee entrance will be shut down beginning at about 10:40 a.m. and should reopen at about 12:30 p.m.
A group of dignitaries — including Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Marietta; Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ranger; Pete Wheeler, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Veterans Affairs; Maj. Gen. Jim Butterworth, adjutant general of the Georgia National Guard; Floyd County Commission Chairman Irwin Bagwell; and Rome Mayor Evie McNiece — will watch the parade from a grand stand set up across from City Hall.
Gov. Nathan Deal is scheduled to be at The Forum following the parade and will read a proclamation. He is not expected to attend the parade.
Click here for a Google Map of the parade route
Click here for the parade website
8 a.m. — The Forum will open for information booths about veterans benefits. About 50 are expected.
8:30-10 a.m. — Veterans will be arriving at the federal building on East First Street. They will receive armbands identifying them as veterans.
10 a.m. — Parade lineup will begin on Glenn Milner Boulevard.
10:50 a.m. — A motorcycle motorcade will make its way down Broad. Shortly after, flyovers from TigerFlight and the U.S. Navy will take place.
11 a.m. — The parade will begin. After the parade veterans will meet at The Forum. Only veterans will be provided with lunch. Vendors will be selling food for the general public.
1 p.m. — Gov. Nathan Deal is scheduled to speak at The Forum. Inflatables will be set up for children.