Medal of Honor recipient chosen grand marshal for Homecoming parade
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Medal of Honor recipient Cpl. Duane E. Dewey will be the grand marshal for the 89th University of Florida Homecoming parade on Friday.
Dewey was awarded the Medal of Honor for combat actions in battle near Panmunjom, Korea, on April 16, 1952. He selflessly dove on a grenade, shielding the blast from his comrades, ultimately saving their lives.
Dewey was awarded the medal by President Dwight Eisenhower during a ceremony at the White House. Eisenhower, during the presentation, told Dewey, “You must be made of iron.”
Dewey resides in Hawthorne, Fla. The Alachua County Veteran Memorial Committee honored him last year with a monument at the Kanapaha Veterans Memorial Park.
Jim Lynch, former Alachua County Veteran Service Officer for 33 years, will act as Dewey’s military aide, for the day.
The theme for this year’s Homecoming 2012, is United We Growl, in honor of veterans and Veterans Day weekend. Veterans Day is celebrated each year on the 11th day of the 11th month, recognizing the end of World War I.
“We’re honored to have an MOH recipient as grand marshal,” Zachary Adler, director of parade, said. Adler said he feels that Dewey is the perfect grand marshal to represent the United We Growl theme as well as recognizing veteran heroes.
The parade will begin at noon Friday at the intersection of Gale Lemerand Drive and West University Avenue and will continue down University to Main Street downtown. Preceding the parade, there will be an annual SunTrust Gator Gallop run.
The parade will also showcase bands, more than 140 floats and special guests from University of Florida student organizations, as well as many community groups and local and state dignitaries.
For more information please contact Adler at Zachary.firstname.lastname@example.org, or at 954-907-0344. The Homecoming website is www.gatorgrowl.org.