This year’s Veterans Day observance will be different from those in the past, but its intent in honoring those who bravely served our country in the armed forces remains the same. This year’s observance will be held at Foster Park just outside the Veterans Lodge if the weather is nice. In case of rain, it would be held inside the lodge. The Foster Park parking lot will be used for seating, and those attending are encouraged to bring a chair with them. There will be a few golf carts on hand to transport those needing assistance to the area. Public Safety Officers will be on hand to help with parking. Handicapped parking is expected to be near the old pool near the lodge.
The parade will be different, as well. The National Guard will park some of their large vehicles at the far end of the lake near the lodge. The Sims Singers, Union County High School chorus, high school band, and Union County High School JROTC will march from the American Legion building to the site of the ceremony near the Veterans Lodge. After marching in, the Sims Singers and UCHS Chorus will share musical selections prior to the ceremony starting. Last to march to the ceremony will be the veterans. All veterans wishing to take part in the procession need to meet at the American Legion building on Scenic Drive between 10 and 10:20 a.m.
The ceremony will open at 11 with a welcome by Jantzen Childers and an invocation from Rev. Richard Lewis, minister at Wesley Chapel and Lockhart United Methodist churches. The JROTC will do the presentation of colors followed by the national anthem, sung by high school chorus member Jolee Cathcart.
The ceremony will not have a guest speaker this year, but they will honor the county’s two Gold Star mothers, who lost a child in combat--Azilee Ashe, who is not expected to attend due to her health, and Lisa Bell. They will honor a Gold Star spouse, Pamela Sloss, who lost a spouse in combat. They will also recognize Blue Star families, who have a family member on active duty. After recognizing dignitaries and veterans service organizations, the Union County High School chorus and Sims Singers will provide patriotic music. After that, those attending will pay tribute to the spouses who were married to active-duty service members while they were in service. They will also honor veterans of the various wartime and peacetime eras.
Staff Sergeant Pernel Thompson with the SC Army Reserve National Guard will lay the wreath at the Vietnam KIA Memorial, followed by Taps by Ronnie Lybrand and a 21-gun salute by the SC National Guard. Closing prayer will be by Rev. Drew Rogers at Lockhart First Baptist Church. After the ceremony, the band will provide some music.
WBCU News asked Cindy Fore with the Union County Veterans Affairs Office about the venue change, and she said the recent COVID surge affected the parade and ceremony plans:
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