"We feel that it's important to recognize individuals that are willing to give their life for our country, ... [one example] is the 48th Brigade here in Georgia being deployed two and three times away from [their] family," said Poston, commander of the Vietnam Veterans of Bartow County. "That's quite a sacrifice. Literally thousands have died and over a million wounded in the last few wars, so we feel like it's appropriate that we honor them."
On Saturday, Nov. 12, parade participants, which will include veterans and other members of the community, will start lining up 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 in the evening, when the Bartow County Masonic Convention will hold its 11th annual Veterans Appreciation Day Celebration.
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 guest speaker John Snipes, superintendent of the Masonic Home of Georgia, and live entertainment provided by The Temples Family.
"Our first celebration was in 2000 and that was to honor our Vietnam veterans," said Carey Evans, chairman of the BCMC Veterans Appreciation Committee. "We had such a great response from that one in 2000 that we decided to make it an annual event for all of our veterans, and we started that one in 2001. We had about 210 people at that [program]. Of course that was the year of 9/11 and a lot of people were stuck to the TVs watching the news but we still had 210 people present at that celebration and then it's just grown from there. We went up to 400 the next year, 450 the year after. It got up to 600 people in two or three of the events, then last year it dropped down to about 450 again.
"A lot of our older veterans don't get out at night anymore and a lot of them have already passed on. This year will be our 11th annual celebration to honor our Bartow County veterans and this is just our way of saying thank you to those men and women who have served in the military. ... It's a pleasure to see those men and women get together and socialize with one another. This event is a yearly thing and some of them only see these people at this event. It's just amazing to see the joy that they have by attending this and having a great meal and a good program."
For more information about Veterans Appreciation Day Celebration, contact Evans at 770-382-2941 or firstname.lastname@example.org.