Dallas Veterans Day parade canceled, grand marshal shares his story

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The annual Dallas Veterans Day parade scheduled for Monday was canceled due to incoming rain.

In its place, there will be a small ceremony in the Flag Room at Dallas City Hall.

Despite the cancelation, the man who would have been the Grand Marshal is sharing his remarkable story.

U.S. Air Force Colonel Ken Cordier of Dallas is a Vietnam War veteran whose F-4C Phantom was shot down a week before his deployment was supposed to be over. 

Col. Cordier was flying his 176th combat mission over southeast Asia when he was shot down on December 2, 1966.

He was captured and detained as a prisoner of war and held captive for six years, the last several at the Hanoi Hilton.

Col. Cordier said the fact that he survived the Phantom being shot down by ejecting himself from the jet was lucky. 

He calls it a God moment and said what helped him survive six years of interrogation and torture as a prisoner of war was the thought that he must have been meant for more.

Simply, he told himself to never give up.

Col. Cordier retired from the Air Force in 1985 and has been instrumental in organizing the Dallas Veterans Day Parade over the years, growing it to be one of the biggest in the country.

"Freedom is not free. You've heard that many times. And it's only through the active participation and willingness to sacrifice of our military that we maintain our freedom," he said.

The small ceremony Monday at Dallas City Hall begins at 11 a.m.

This year's parade theme was commemorating the end of World War I, November 11, 1918.

LINK: www.vetsdayindallas.org