Thursday, 07 November 2019 22:45

Richmond County to celebrate Veterans Day with multiple events

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There are 51 entries slated for this year's Veterans Day parade, put on by VFW Post 4203 Auxiliary. There are 51 entries slated for this year's Veterans Day parade, put on by VFW Post 4203 Auxiliary. RO file photo - William R. Toler

ROCKINGHAM — Several activities are scheduled around Richmond County to honor those who served in the military this Veterans Day weekend.

Saturday’s events begin at 11 a.m. with a ceremony by the American Legion at Veterans Memorial Park which will include: a flag raising by the Richmond Senior Army JROTC Raider Battalion; singing of the national anthem by Chena Jackson; guest speaker James Moore, American Legion state commander; flag-folding presentation and three-shot volley by AMVETS Post 316; wreath-laying presentation and the playing of “Taps” by Cameron McDonald.

Lunch will be provided afterward by VFW Post 4203.

Downtown events will begin at 12:15 with the Veterans Celebration on the Square — sponsored by the city of Rockingham, Richmond County and the Richmond County Tourism Development Authority — when Arts Richmond will present VFW Post 4203 and its Auxiliary with a mural that has been worked on since last Veterans Day.

Following the presentation, the band Loaded Dice will take the stage, playing until 2:15.

A kids zone with a bounce house, dogs from K2 Solutions, the Ghostbusters and the giant Smokey the Bear from the N.C. Forest Service will also be set up in the area, along with a hot dog stand.

There will be a meet-and-greet with members of the All Veterans Group jump team, based out of Raeford, in the BB&T parking lot. They are scheduled to jump from their helicopter at 2:25 and land in the parking lot, just before opening ceremonies begin for the fourth annual Veterans Day parade on the steps of the old courthouse.

The ceremony, led by retired Lt. Col. Jon Ring, JROTC instructor, will include: the national anthem sung by Charity Davis; the Pledge of Allegiance led by Luke and Eva Lane Davis; and VFW State Commander Craig Armstrong as the guest speaker.

VFW Auxiliary President Robin Roberts said there are 51 entries in the parade this year, nearly double the amount from the first year.

“I’m just overwhelmed with the community support this year,” she said. “They have been working on these floats for six months.”

Roberts said there will be floats representing each of America’s conflicts since World War I, and veterans from each war since World War II, with J.C. Lamm as the grand marshal.

Although she’s been given a sneak peek at some, Roberts said there are a few keeping their designs secret.

The parade also includes more than 100 walkers and more than 40 motorcycles from various local clubs.

“It’s going to be probably the biggest veterans celebration Richmond County’s ever had,” she said. “It’s the least we can do for these veterans who deserve a whole lot more.”

There will also be a table set up for the Christmas card drive, so anyone interested can fill out a card for a service member overseas.

The celebration continues back at the VFW with a performance by Moore County band August Burning, which played a veterans benefit last week at Double Vision and has previously participated in Rockin’ for Veterans.

At 10 a.m. Monday, the town of Dobbins Heights will host its annual Veterans Day service at the community center.

This year’s guest speaker is retired Marine Lt. Gen. Walter E. Gaskin.

Currently the CEO of La Porte Technology Defense, Gaskin previously served as deputy chairman of the NATO Military Committee, commanding general of the 2nd Marine Division at Camp Lejeune and, simultaneously, commanding general of the II Marine Expeditionary Force, which he led during its year-long deployment to Al Anbar Province, Iraq, as the commanding general of Multinational Forces-West, according to his biography.


Last modified on Friday, 08 November 2019 11:54