UNION COUNTY — Veterans Day is a day set aside to honor America’s veterans and in Union County that means a day full of activities to honor local veterans.
This year, Veterans Day, Nov. 11, falls on Wednesday, and the day of honor begins at Augsburg Lutheran Church which will be serving a Veterans Breakfast at 8:30 p.m. The breakfast is open to all Union County veterans who are urged to attend and enjoy breakfast and fellowship together.
In the evening, American Legion Post 22 will hold a banquet in the Veterans Memorial Lodge in Veterans Memorial Park beginning at 6 p.m. The banquet will offer catered food, live music and appropriate ceremonies
As part of the event, the post will also sponsor a “Chinese auction” as a fundraiser.
The banquet will be free to all current Post 22 members and their spouses. Delinquent members will be able to pay to update their memberships at the door. Other guests may pay a fee of $10 at the door to attend the event.
Parade And Program
In Union County, the main event of Veterans Day is the Veterans Day Parade down Main Street in downtown Union followed by the Veterans Day program.
As in years past, the parade will have a parade marshall and the ceremony will honor a Veteran of the Year. In the past, these have been individual veterans, but this year the parade marshall and Veteran of the Year will be Union County’s World War II veterans.
Union County Veterans Affairs Director Cindy Fore said the decision to honor the World War II veterans is due to this year being the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.
Line up for the parade will begin at 9:30 a.m. and the parade itself will begin at 10:30 a.m. Fore said that she would like as many World War II veterans as possible to be in the parade, adding that transportation will be available 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.
On Monday, Fore said that so far only a dozen World War II veterans have said they will be participating. She urged any World War II veterans interested in participating to call her as soon as possible so she can have enough certificates and badges on hand as well as sufficient seating for the honorees.
The Union Veterans Affairs Office can be contacted at 864-429-1605. The office is located at 320 E. Main St., Union, and is open 8 a.m.-4 p.m. weekdays.
Another difference between this year’s Veterans Day celebration and those of previous years is that instead of a speaker, the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Department’s Rifle Team will perform ‘Fallen Soldiers,” and 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.