Annual boat parade honors Korean War veterans

Monticello Boat Parade

MONTICELLO, Ind. (WLFI) – For 10 years, boats have paraded down Lake Freeman every July 5. The goal is to honor veterans.

“There were a lot of them who came back from war who never had a thank you or any type of recognition,” Amvet member Don Kiselus said. “This is just one way we can show them how much we appreciate their service for the country.”

On Saturday, hundreds of people came to Lake Freeman in Monticello to give a loud and clear thank you to veterans. Hundreds of veterans and family members got to be at the center of the parade inside the Madam Carroll.

This year the grand marshals of the parade were Korean War veterans.

“I was on the U.S.S. Oriskany when I was in Korea,” Korean War vet Frank Walker said. “It’s now at the bottom of Pensacola Bay. They sunk it as a part of the artificial reef. I was hospital corpsman of the Navy. That’s something I was proud of.”

Walker said he enjoyed meeting veterans of the same war.

“We talk about what ships we were on and what we did in the service,” Walker said. “It was real nice.”

Kiselus has come to all 10 boat parades.

“It keeps growing and growing and growing,” Kiselus said. “I think at this point we need a bigger boat. So, it’s really great.”

Kiselus said it is important the parade keeps growing because veterans deserve a big celebration.

“Finally veterans are really getting recognized for their service for their country,” Kiselus said. “It’s been a long time coming.”

For Walker, the recognition has always been within himself.

“I’m very proud I could serve my country and be a part of this great nation,” Walker said. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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