Hometown Hero--Grand Marshal John Burke

John Burke
John Burke

He's the man of the hour, the grand marshal of the 2007 Savannah St. Patrick's Day Parade, John Burke.

Saturday morning, Burke will cement his place in the history of the event.

"I'm just thankful to be a part of what they are doing," he said. "I didn't do it. They've done it."

Burke was named the 2007 parade grand marshal after decades of service on the parade committee.

"It was more of an Irish community event when I first came here," he said.

But times have changed, and so has the parade. "Savannah has grown," he said. "Savannah has spread out. The population has grown."

A humble Burke credits his peers. "It's been extremely satisfying to see the growth of this thing," he said. "I'm just thankful to be a part of what they are doing. I didn't do it. They've done it."

Tomorrow morning, Burke will kick off Savannah's biggest event of the year, one he has spent more than a quarter of century working hard on. "To lead it yourself is awesome. Really awesome," he said. "I told Sonny Dixon one time before, it's going to be a little hard not getting emotional about it."

But if he does, those tears will be well deserved. And that's why John Burke is this week's WTOC Hometown Hero.

Reported by: Don Logana, dlogana@wtoc.com

If you'd like to nominate a Hometown Hero, you can drop us a line at the station: PO Box 8086, Savannah, GA 31412, or email  us.