By Brandi Makuski
Residents in Central Wisconsin can expect to see a long line of American flags fluttering along local streets on Sept. 11.
Friday’s 9/11 Memorial Parade has been organized by Karl Basinski, a resident of Galloway who works in Portage Co.
“I started out as a one-man show; I just tried to get a few people together to do this, but it spread like wildfire,” Basinski said on Thursday.
Basinski, a member of the Freedom Fighters of Central Wisconsin Facebook group, said he believes there is a silent majority who support police, firefighters, and the U.S. government, and Friday’s parade is intended to show that support.
“We just want the public to see there are still Americans out there who support the U.S.,” he said. “You see all this protesting and stuff, there are so many people who don’t agree with what’s been going on. We just wanted to do something good.”
The parade will contain a series of vehicles, including motorcycles, semi-trucks, at least one fire truck, and a group of classic cars, many flying the American flag, he said.
“And I’m sure there will be some people with Trump flags and stuff like that. I’m not going to tell people no. If someone wants to bring a Biden flag, that’s fine. We’re not one-sided,” Basinski said.
So far, the parade has about 90 participants, Basinski said. The group asked some law enforcement agencies to participate, but they declined.
“They were worried about it becoming political, and they have to stay neutral,” he said.
Vehicles will line up near the Backyard Grille in Custer, on Hwy. 66, at about 5 p.m. on Friday. The parade route will travel south on Hwy. J, then west on Hwy. 10 through downtown Stevens Point, past the UW-Stevens Point campus, then return to the starting point via Hwy. 66.
The parade will begin at 6:30 p.m., he said. There will be no road closures, and parade vehicles will follow the rules of the road.