Dignitaries to honor Hamill at Macon parade Saturday

By By Penny Randall / staff writer
July 2, 2004
The small town of Macon is expecting big visitors Saturday when it hosts a Patriotic Praise Parade: Gov. and Mrs. Haley Barbour, U.S. Rep. Chip Pickering and former U.S. Rep. G.V. "Sonny" Montgomery.
Serving as grand marshal will be former Iraqi hostage and Macon native Tommy Hamill, a truck driver for Halliburton subsidiary KBR who was captured when his convoy was ambushed April 9 in Iraq.
Hamill was among several American contractors who disappeared after the April attack. Hamill escaped May 2 from a farmhouse about 50 miles north of Baghdad and returned home to Macon about a week later.
This is the first year for the parade which begins at 10 a.m. Saturday through downtown Macon and ends at the courthouse. Hamill will speak following the parade.
The 41st Army Band and the color guard from Newton's Army National Guard unit will march and perform. Also riding will be the family of U.S. Navy sailer Andrew Triplett of Shuqualak, who was killed during the bombing of the USS Cole in October 2000.
Patriotic and gospel singing, children's activities and food will be sold on the courthouse lawn throughout the day.
Mayor Hines said she expects the national media to cover the parade.

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