Every year at this time, veterans from around the Texas Panhandle gather at the Randall County Courthouse Annex.
They slap each other on the back, some reminisce about common experiences in the military. Those who had served in war zones compare notes, swap stories and thank each other for their service.
They sit in front of the Texas Panhandle War Memorial and hear speeches and proclamations and expressions of thanks from elected officials.
Today, though, they also heard during the Veterans Day ceremony about a worthy dedication.
Loop 335, a 43-mile thoroughfare that encircles Amarillo, has been named Veterans Highway. Randall County Judge Ernie Houdashell and Potter County Judge Nancy Tanner spoke about that dedication.
I am grateful that the loop now honors those who served their country.
There once was a time when I thought Loop 335 would provide a fitting memorial to the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I wrote something to that effect in a column many years ago. I still want the community honor Dr. King in such a fashion someday and I hope that comes to pass.
Loop 335, given that it circles the city, holding it together, provides a fitting way to honor whomever the city and the counties through it travels choose.
The western-most segment of the loop, of course, will be extended beyond Soncy, which has become just another busy street in Amarillo. The state has begun expansion work on the southern portion of the loop to ensure that it remains free of the congestion that clogs Soncy.
Now the thoroughfare honors veterans as it carries the name Veterans Highway.
This veteran thanks the city and the two counties for their actions to honor those who’ve answered the call to duty.