Paying tribute to current and former military personnel, Bartow organizations will present a handful of events in honor of Veterans Day.
Starting Tuesday with the Georgia Veterans Association Inc.’s sixth annual Salute to Veterans and concluding with Bartow County Masonic Convention’s 15th annual Veterans Appreciation Day Celebration Nov. 14, the offerings also will feature programs from American Legion Carl Boyd Post 42, Kingston Woman’s History Club Inc. and Vietnam Veterans of Bartow County.
Salute to Veterans
Presented by the Georgia Veterans Association, the sixth annual Salute to Veterans will be held Tuesday from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Cartersville Civic Center, 435 W. Main St.
Along with the Bartow County Republican Party serving a light meal, the program will consist of special guest speaker and World War II Battle of the Bulge survivor Cecil Hannaford, special guest World War II Navy veteran Douglas Evans and a raffle drawing for a $500 GLOCK pistol certificate. Tickets for the raffle will be available during the event for $10 each.
“It was started by state Rep. Christian Coomer, who ... served in the Air Force and he is currently active Reserve,” said Debra Conley, Coomer’s legal secretary. “... Bartow County has a large number of veterans, especially Vietnam veterans ... and [the veterans groups] do a lot of things behind the scenes for veterans. So Mr. Coomer felt like there was the opportunity to set up a tax deductible ... charitable organization. He set [Georgia Veterans Association] up as the founder to have this event every year.
“... [Some veterans] come back [home] and ... maybe they get met at the airport by a group but then that’s it. But they have ongoing needs. So the money that we raise goes back to those groups and to sometimes just an individual who might need something.”
While admission is free for attendees, tax deductible donations will be accepted for the Georgia Veterans Association. Contact Conley at 770-383-9171 for further details about Salute to Veterans.
As in past years, the American Legion Carl Boyd Post 42 will host a program on Veterans Day — the 11th hour of the 11th month’s 11th day.
Open to the public at the post’s flagpole, 1 Roosevelt St. in Cartersville, the offering will feature Coomer as the guest speaker, Etowah Valley Young Marines, Boy Scouts, the Cass High School’s band and JROTC, a 21-gun salute and taps.
“[Veterans Day] was set for 11/11 at 11, and we try to hold as true to that as possible,” said Post 42 Commander Glen Thompson, who served in the U.S. Navy from 1978 to 2009. “We’re holding our Veterans Day ceremony as it was originally scheduled. That’s the significance of Nov. 11 at 11 [a.m.].
“... The main reason that we continue to [hold it then] year after year is like [as with] so many other traditions, when you start to move them and change them, they lose their significance. We feel that those are days that the true purpose of the day needs to remain focused upon its original intent.”
Veterans Day Observance
Veterans Day programs will continue on Wednesday with the Kingston Woman’s History Club’s Veterans Day Observance at Kingston City Park. At noon, the gathering will be held at the Veterans Monument and feature a presentation by Cass High School JROTC Cadet Rebecca Rice and live entertainment by the Kingston Elementary School chorus.
“We recognize that our freedoms and liberties that we enjoy today are a result of our veterans, of their bravery and sacrifice,” said Ann Jones, chairman of the Veterans Affairs Committee for the Kingston Woman’s History Club. “We want to thank and honor them for what they’ve given for us and to the families also. We’re grateful for their sacrifices and contribution.”
A reception will be presented afterward in the Martha Mulinix Annex of the Kingston Museum on East Main Street. In the case of rain, the location will be moved to Kingston United Methodist Church.
Call Jones at 770-336-7053 for additional information.
Presented by the Vietnam Veterans of Bartow County, the Veterans Parade will wind through the streets of downtown Cartersville Nov. 14 at 10 a.m.
Parade participants, which will include veterans and other members of the community, will start lining up at 9 a.m. at the Frank Moore Administration and Judicial Center, 135 W. Cherokee Ave. in Cartersville. The procession will depart, turning right on Church Street, left on Tennessee Street, right on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and conclude at the American Legion.
“We try to honor the veterans every year by having this parade,” said Norman McCallister, commander of the Vietnam Veterans of Bartow County. “... They can either walk or ride, whichever they choose. ... [I enjoy] seeing the people come out to honor veterans. It just makes my day.”
For more information, contact McCallister at 404-291-3247.
Veterans Appreciation Day Celebration
On Nov. 14, Veterans Day offerings will come to a close with the Bartow County Masonic Convention’s 15th annual Veterans Appreciation Day Celebration.
“The program actually got started in 2000 to honor the Vietnam veterans in Bartow County,” said Carey Evans, founder of the event and chairman of the local convention’s Veterans Appreciation Committee. “We had such a good response for that that we decided to do an annual event for all of our veterans, which started in 2001. So this will be our 15th annual celebration for all of our veterans.
“We have a lot of the businesses around Cartersville and Bartow County who donate to help finance this event. When we first started in 2001, our expenses were about $2,200. In 2014, they were a little over $5,000. So thanks to the Bartow County businesses that donate to help sponsor this.”
To be held at the Clarence Brown Conference Center, 5450 State Route 20 in Cartersville, the program will be offered free of charge to veterans and their spouses, as well as widows and widowers of service members. A 5:30 p.m. dinner will be followed by an entertainment program at 6:30 p.m. that will include a presentation from Joseph W. Watson, grand secretary of the Grand Lodge of Georgia, and gospel music provided by Heartfelt.
“We serve anywhere from 450 to 600 people. That’s the veterans, their spouse, [and the] widows and widowers of veterans,” Evans said. “They are responsible for us enjoying the freedom that we have, to do the things that we enjoy doing. This is just our way to say thank you to those men and women who have served, especially our combat veterans.”
Call Evans at 770-382-2941 or 678-276-6560 for further details.