The Last U.S. Independence
Day Parade in Panama

As the Special Events Coordinator for the United States Army South in Panama from 1989 through my retirement in 1996, I had the privilege to be the Project Officer of the Annual Independence Day Celebration.  This involved getting the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marines stationed in Panama, the Panama Canal Commission, private organizations / persons and different groups from the Republic of Panama to participate in America's Birthday.  A fun filled day of activities was planned including a parade, sporting events, games, food / beverage / arts and crafts booths, static displays, rides, entertainment and of course fireworks.  I have a bunch of photos and scrap books from these times and thought I would put together a few pages for your enjoyment.  I don't know who started the Independence Day Celebrations in the Canal Zone, but I was in charge of the last one in 1995.  They still have the fireworks, but no more parade or activities.  I feel honored that I had this opportunity.  Thanks to the USARSO Public Affairs Office (PAO) photographer, SSG Cass Purdum, who took the photos that are displayed here and Jeannine Wilder, Community Relations Officer (PAO) who was responsible for the publication of the program covers you see here.

Click the Image for a larger view.

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CZ Images 1998
William P. McLaughlin