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Alpharetta Mayor David Belle Isle addresses the crowd. Jonathan Copsey. (click for larger version)
August 05, 2014
ALPHARETTA, Ga. For the 62nd year, soldiers from nearly every recent war paraded down Main Street in Alpharetta for the annual Old Soldiers Day Parade.

Organizers called it the largest parade yet. This year's theme was "Teach our children: God, flag, honor and country."

"The values most people my age learned at home are only vague concepts today," said Marty Farrell, past commander of the American Legion Post 201. "Who better to teach these values than our military veterans?"

The keynote speaker was Don Giles, a retired U.S. Navy captain from Marietta. He highlighted the need for a strong military in an uncertain world and equally strong young people to staff that military.

"I'm delighted to see so many young people today," he said. "You are the next generation of soldiers. You are the ones who must step forward to defend our freedoms. I believe you will do it."

Alpharetta Rotary was the winner of the best float, holding most closely to the parade's theme.

The parade was dedicated to Bob Votta, who organized the event for the past several years. He died July 27, a week before the parade.

RN-8-6

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