The organization noted in its response to the governor that it has already made a commitment to the dedication of Veterans Pocket Park. The park is located at 2200 Veterans Drive and the dedication will take place at 9:30 a.m.
"The Veterans Park will be the only event that the Austin Veterans Parade Foundation will be involved in this year," the organization said. "It is our hope that we can have our Veterans Day parade and celebration next year and that everyone will stay safe on this Veterans Day!"
The governor had extended the invitation after the foundation announced in October that the 2021 Veteran's Parade would not take place in Austin "due to COVID restrictions from the Austin Public Health Department."
Parade organizers said that the restrictions "required the Austin Veteran Parade Foundation to verify all participants and spectators to have either a current negative COVID test or be vaccinated" and that it was something they "could not do as we anticipated some 30,000 attendees to the parade."
Gov. Abbott issued a statement saying, "The City of Austin's overreaching COVID-19 requirements have placed an undue burden on large events like the 2021 Veterans Day Parade, forcing the Austin Veterans Parade Foundation to cancel their annual event."
"That is why I am inviting the Austin Veterans Parade Foundation and military veterans to host a rally on the south steps of the Texas State Capitol to celebrate our nation's heroes. The State of Texas will always support our military veterans, and we are committed to ensuring that the traditions of Veterans Day are kept alive in the capital city."
Read the Austin Veterans Parade Foundation's response to Abbott's invite below:
The Austin Veterans Parade Foundation is very appreciative of Governor Abbott’s invitation to celebrate Veterans Day at the Texas Capitol. We must respectfully decline as we have already committed to the dedication of the Austin Veterans Park on Thursday, November 11th. The Park is located at 2200 Veterans Dr. in Austin and the dedication will take place at 0930. The Veterans Park will be the only event that the Austin Veterans Parade Foundation will be involved in this year.
Like so many other organizations that have had to cancel their event, the Austin Pride Parade, the Bat Festival and Pecan Street Festival, the Austin Veterans Parade Foundation determined that the unworkable Covid 19 rules imposed by the Austin Public Health Department were unattainable and too costly to deal with. So, the difficult and painful decision was made to cancel.
It is our hope that we can have our Veterans Day parade and celebration next year and that everyone will stay safe on this Veterans Day!
Jim Darwin, Chairman
Austin Veterans Parade Foundation
FOX is also supporting veterans and U.S.VETS
U.S.VETS launched its campaign called "Make Camo Your Cause" to establish the camouflage print as the official symbol to honor its veterans.
"Camo was designed to conceal and protect our soldiers in combat. Today, in America we wear camouflage to stand out from the crowd and to demonstrate our patriotism and pride," the organization wrote. "With your support, #HONORUSVETS will give camo a new meaning, showing the community you believe our veterans deserve every opportunity to live with dignity and independence."
The organization encourages employees and customers to wear camo clothing and share their message on Veterans Day.
How to get involved
FOX Corporation and its employees are working with U.S.VETS to support their "Make Camo Your Cause" campaign by spreading awareness to the campaign and wearing camo to support the cause on Veterans Day.
In order to bring visibility and awareness to the campaign, FOX is asking businesses to purchase apparel from U.S.VETS online shop and wear camo with U.S.VETS this Veterans Day and post on social media using #HONORUSVETS. U.S.VETS is also looking for volunteers in the fight against veteran homelessness.
"If you are compassionate, hardworking, or just looking for a way to give back to the community, volunteering at a U.S.VETS location would be a rewarding experience for you," U.S.VETS wrote.
The national nonprofit relies on corporate and community support to help reach its goal through partnerships including direct financial contributions, employee giving and matching gifts, campaigns, grants and employee volunteer engagement.
In addition, employers can "hire a vet" through the U.S.VETS Career Network, which connects professional and student veterans with lasting careers they love.
Donations to the organization can also be made on its website.
U.S.VETS is the largest nonprofit organization with boots on the ground to combat America’s veteran homeless crisis head-on. Its comprehensive approach provides housing, counseling, career and supportive services to help U.S. veterans rebuild and thrive.
The organization has 32 sites across 11 regional locations in California, Nevada, Arizona, Hawaii, Texas, and Washington D.C. and offers temporary and permanent housing solutions and comprehensive services to veterans and their families nationwide.
This station is owned by the FOX Corporation.
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