Honoring World War II veterans


Veterans Day to focus on World War II veterans

By Charles Warner - cwarner@civitasmedia.com



Courtesy photo This World War II Veteran patch will be presented along with a certificate of recognition to Union County’s World War II veterans during this year’s Veterans Day celebration on Wednesday, Nov. 11.


By Charles Warner

cwarner@civitasmedia.com

UNION COUNTY — Seventy years after they helped win humanity’s greatest war the service and sacrifice of the World War II veterans of Union County will be honored this Veterans Day.

The wars that were raging in Europe and East Asia in 1941 merged that year into a truly global conflict which came to be called World War II on Dec. 7, 1941, the “Day of Infamy” as President Franklin Roosevelt called it, when the Empire of Japan attacked the United States of America at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Within days of the attack, America was at war with not only Japan, but also the other Axis powers including Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany.

Four years later in 1945, World War II came to an end with the defeat and collapse of the Axis powers, the last of which was Japan, which formally surrendered on Sept. 2, 1945.

While the fighting in the Pacific theater began in 1937 with the Japanese invasion of China and in the European theater with the German and Russian invasion of Poland in 1939, it wasn’t until America’s entry into the war that the struggle truly became a global one. Unlike most the rest of the World War II Allies that fought on its side, America had the resources, the industrial base, and the manpower to wage war in both the European and the Pacific theaters and win them.

America’s entry into World War II is what decisively tipped the balance of power in favor of the Allies, enabling them to halt and then reverse the advance of the Axis and finally defeat it both in Europe and in the Pacific.

Even though 70 years have passed since America’s soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen played their decisive role in the Allied victory, their service and sacrifice have not been forgotten.

Union County Veterans Affairs Director Cindy Fore announced that this year’s Veterans Day program will honor the county’s World War II veterans. The Veterans Day program normally features an individual parade marshal and Veteran of the Year, but Fore said this year will be different.

“This is the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II and we will be honoring our World War II veterans this year,” Fore said. “Our parade marshal and our Veteran of the Year will be our World War II veterans.”

Line up for the Veterans Day Parade will begin at 9:30 a.m. and the parade itself will begin at 10:30 a.m.

“We would like for as many World War II veterans to be in the parade as possible,” Fore said. “We will have transportation for those who need to ride.”

The Veterans Day Ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. and, as in previous years, will take place on Main Street across from the War Memorial honoring the Union County residents who lost their lives in World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.

Fore said that during the the ceremony each World War II veteran will receive a certificate and a World War II patch honoring their service during the war. She urged the county’s World War II veterans to contact her and let her know if they plan to attend so she can have an accurate count of their numbers.

“Please let us know as soon possible how many there will be so we have enough certificates and badges,” Fore said. “They can call me at my office at 429-1605.”

In addition to having the county’s World War II veterans collectively serve as parade marshal and Veteran of the Year, Fore said there will be another difference between this year’s Veterans Day celebration and those of previous years.

“Instead of a speaker, this year the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Department’s Rifle Team will perform ‘Fallen Soldiers,’” Fore said. “They will also march in the parade along with the Union County High School JROTC Drill Team.”

The Veterans Day Ceremony will also include the following:

• The Invocation delivered by Rev. Charlie Jennings

• The raising of the flags of the Armed Forces of the United States of America by the JROTC which will also serve as the ceremony’s Color Guard.

• The recognition of the Gold Star Mothers. Gold Star Mothers are women whose children died in combat while serving their country. This year’s Gold Star Mothers are Azalee Ashe and Betty Baxley.

• The recognition of Blue Star Families. Blue Star Families are families who have loved ones who are active duty military personnel.

• The recognition of the county’s other veterans.

• The Fallen Soldiers Program which recognizes those soldiers killed while serving their country.

• The Placing of the Wreath at the War Memorial. The wreath will be placed this year by Bill Littlejohn, James Littlejohn, and Marion Byrd.

• A 21-gun salute by the National Guard.

• Echo Taps performed by Buddy Wilkes and DJ Anthony.

• The Closing Prayer delivered by Rich Brown, Chaplain for Medi Home Hospice.

Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090 or cwarner@civitasmedia.com.

Courtesy photo This World War II Veteran patch will be presented along with a certificate of recognition to Union County’s World War II veterans during this year’s Veterans Day celebration on Wednesday, Nov. 11.
http://uniondailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/web1_WWII-Patch.jpgCourtesy photo This World War II Veteran patch will be presented along with a certificate of recognition to Union County’s World War II veterans during this year’s Veterans Day celebration on Wednesday, Nov. 11.
Veterans Day to focus on World War II veterans

By Charles Warner

cwarner@civitasmedia.com

Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090 or cwarner@civitasmedia.com.

Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090 or cwarner@civitasmedia.com.

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