LAURINBURG – Several local organizations will mark Veteran’s Day early this year.
The Scotland County Veteran’s Council will hold a ceremony at Legion Park on Atkinson Street Friday at 11 a.m. honoring veterans of all wars. The day is traditionally celebrated on Nov. 11 which falls on a Saturday this year.
“To recognize our past present and future veterans is the most important thing, and we want to comfort and uplift the family members that have lost veterans and let them know we haven’t forgotten them,” said retired veteran William Swift.
Vietnam War veteran Harold Hunt is the guest speaker for the event. Hunt is also president of Chapter 822 of the Order of the Purple Heart, according Swift.
Two chorus groups will perform. Members of all five branches of service will be represented along with members of the Army National Guard. A display will be set up honoring the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard.
Coffee and doughnuts will be served.
Disabled American Veteran’s Chapter 17 of Raeford is collecting money to assist veterans in the region. Chapter 17 covers the area from Raeford to Rockingham according to Commander Sgt. Maj. Mary McClinnahan.
“We’re a local chapter, and when a veteran gets in contact with us when they’re down on their luck and need help with a light bill, water bill, groceries or gas we verify that they are a veteran and we pay the bill,” McClinnahan said. “We provide rides to the VA hospital for appointments. They don’t have to be disabled; we help any veteran.”
The DAV will be collecting money at Golden Corral until Monday when Golden Corral feeds military vets for free.
Chapter 17 helps approximately 25 veterans a year. This year’s collection goal is $3,000 this year; so far they have collected $1,900.
Scotia Village will host a Veteran’s Day breakfast for Scotia residents and/ or their spouses who have served, according to Susan Roberts, resident services director. The event is in the main dining room at 8:30 a.m. Friday. Lt. Col. Reid E. Furman, US Army, is this year’s guest speaker.
“Every year we take a moment to recognize veterans who have passed away in the past year since the last breakfast,” Roberts said.
Maxton American Legion Post 117 will hold its Annual Veterans Day Ceremony at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Maxton Historical Grounds at North Florence and West Graham Streets in Maxton. Lieutenant Commander Dean Valentine a SEAL Officer in the U.S. Navy Reserves is the guest speaker. Purnell Swett JROTC color guard will present the colors.
Veterans Day was first commemorated as Armistice Day on Nov. 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I. In 1926 Congress passed a resolution setting aside Nov. 11 as an annual observance. The day became a national holiday in 1938. Dwight D. Eisenhower changed the name to Veteran’s Day in 1954.
The day is intended to honor all American veterans, living and dead, but particularly those living who served the US honorably during war and peacetime.
Great Britain, France, Australia and Canada also set aside a day to honor veterans of World War I and World War II on or near Nov. 11.
Reach Beth Lawrence 910-506-3169