Members of the American Legion Carl Boyd Post 42 will host a ceremony Thursday at 11 a.m. Held at the post's flagpole, 1 Roosevelt St. in Cartersville, the program will feature a guest speaker, a 21-gun salute and Taps. The gathering also will recognize Bartow County service members who have passed away in the last year. After each name is read, a bell will ring to honor the deceased.
"The component [of the program] that is most important is the reading of the names," said Larry Russell, member and former chaplain of Post 42. "It's really to honor the veterans themselves, him or her, and the families that are there. It's important for them to hear their loved one's name mentioned in that portion of the program because we're honoring the veterans. We're honoring all veterans, but we're honoring those especially because Veterans Day is for all veterans -- past, present and future."
At the Kingston City Park, a Veterans Day ceremony will be held Thursday at 1 p.m. at the Veterans Monument, featuring a presentation by Army veteran Lt. Col. Joseph Umbarger and live entertainment by the Kingston Elementary School chorus. Refreshments will be served afterward by the event's sponsor, the Kingston Woman's History Club Inc., in the Martha Mulinix Annex of the Kingston Museum, 13 E. Main St.
"The Kingston Woman's History Club subscribes to a statement I once read, which says 'Thank God for Life, Thank a Soldier for Freedom.' The ceremony we sponsor is our way of bringing to remembrance all of those who have pledged their service to preserve our freedom, many making the ultimate sacrifice, giving their life that we may live in a country that's free," said Linda Leachman, president of the Kingston Woman's History Club.
In the case of rain, the program will be moved to Kingston United Methodist Church.
Barbecue at Taylor Farm
Christian Coomer, who won the state House District 14 seat in the Nov. 2 general election, and his campaign will sponsor a Veterans Day event Thursday from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Taylor Farm Pavilion in Cartersville.
The program, which will be open to the public, will consist of barbecue, live entertainment and special guests. Admission will be free but donations will be accepted and given to area veterans' charities.
"I'm a veteran," said Coomer, a major in the U.S. Air Force Reserve. "My brothers are both veterans. My dad's a veteran. I come from a long line of veterans. We were going to do a fundraising event for the campaign in November anyway. And I thought it would be a great idea if we could have an event that would actually give money or give support to somebody else. I looked at the calendar and I said, 'Hey, Veterans Day is coming up. Let's do a Veterans Day event where we give money back to veterans' charities.'
"So we just kind of brainstormed and came up with this idea. The campaign is actually raising money by having its hosts and sponsors for the event but all those people who gave to put on the event know that we're going to give all the proceeds at the door to the veterans' charities. So it was kind of a double opportunity for us. The campaign gets to raise money, but more importantly, we get to give something back to people who've given so much to us."
For more information, call Coomer at 770-383-9171 or visit his Facebook page. Taylor Farm is located on Lucas Road, 6 miles west of Cartersville off Highway 113.
Sponsored by the Vietnam Veterans of Bartow County, the Veterans Parade will kick off area Veterans Day observances on Saturday.
"[We organize the parade] to show respect for those that have served and the ones that are serving now," said Bob Poston, commander of the Vietnam Veterans of Bartow County. "I guess you've seen all the articles about the suicide rate being sky high. We're losing one a day active and one a day veteran. So we just need them to know that we care about them and that we honor what they're doing and honor their families that are back home, alone in some cases with two and three kids in school."
Parade participants, which will include veterans and other members of the community, will start lining up Saturday from 8:30 to 9 a.m. at the Frank Moore Administration and Judicial Center, 135 W. Cherokee Ave. in Cartersville. About 9:30 a.m., the procession will depart, turning right on Church Street, left on Tennessee Street, right on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and winding up at the American Legion.
Veterans Day events will wrap up Saturday evening, when the Bartow County Masonic Convention will hold its annual Veterans Appreciation Day Celebration.
Held at Cass High School, the program will be offered free of charge to veterans and their spouses, as well as widows and widowers of service members. At 5:30 p.m., the program will begin with a complimentary meal, consisting of chicken tenders, baked ham, corn, green beans, mashed potatoes, rolls, dessert, tea and coffee.
Dinner will be followed by a presentation from guest speaker Palmer Mills, Grand Master of Masons in Georgia; and live entertainment provided by the Temples family and The Montessori Children's World youth.
"The program was started in 2000 to honor our Vietnam veterans," said Carey Evans, founder of the event and chairman of the local convention's Veterans Appreciation Committee. "We had such a great response from the veterans and their wives that we decided to expand it to all the veterans in the county and do a countywide project to honor all of our veterans and the widows and widowers of veterans, especially our war veterans, our combat veterans. It has grown from about 120 people at the first one to 400 at the third one and around 600 for the two years after that. For the past two or three years, attendance has dropped back down to about 450 or 500 people. This will be our 10th annual celebration.
"The purpose of the event is to honor those men and women who have sacrificed in service to the United States armed forces to keep this country and other countries free to where we can enjoy the things that we enjoy doing daily. It's just to honor them"
For more information, call Evans at 770-382-2941.