One hundred years ago, on November 11, 1919, Veteran’s Day originated as Armistice Day, the first anniversary of the end of World War I. The American Legion is also celebrating 100 years since it began in 1919.
Such historic occurrences deserve lots of celebration and there will be several in the area over Veteran’s Day weekend. Two are highlighted here, one on Monday and a daylong event Saturday.
As they do every year, the members of George Lee American Legion Post 532 in Hayesville will observe Veteran’s Day at 11am on November 11. The program to honor those who have served in any branch of the United States Armed Forces will be at the Veterans’ Monument on the downtown Hayesville Square.
Colors will be presented by an honor guard flag detail, comprised of veterans of various military branches and representing both the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Music will include bagpiper Emmet Bondurant playing patriotic songs, along with singers Susie Graham and Annie Lloyd. Purple Heart Marine veteran Harvie Lance will be guest speaker and Post Commander Rondall Brown, USN Ret. will read the Medal of Honor Recipient Citation to honor heroes.
In addition, Hayesville students will be involved. Patriots Pen and Voice of Democracy awards are being presented by the VFW, and Hayesville High School chorus students Kendall Arrowood and Jordan Muzzy will return to sing the National Anthem, as they did at last year’s event. The Armed Forces Medley has been recorded by Hayesville Middle and High School band students for the recognition of veterans and their branch of service.
Post First Vice Commander Mitchell Shields, who will serve as the Master of Ceremonies, encouraged everyone to attend. “We cannot forget our history and those who has kept this nation free,” he said.
In case of bad weather, the program will be moved a block away to the Chapel First United Methodist Church of Hayesville.
American Legion Anniversary Celebration
On Saturday, November 9, Western Carolina Regional Airport in Andrews, will be the site of a full day of celebration. Sponsored and funded by Ivie Funeral Homes, 100 years of American Legion opening ceremony will kick off at 9am. John Bandy, one of the committee members who organized the event, said it is free to everyone. “Anyone can come, especially veterans, their families and extended families,” Bandy said. Veterans who want to wear uniforms are welcome, but not required.
An honor guard presentation of the colors will be followed by family-friendly events until about 4pm.
At 10:10 am, a flyover of the airport will be done by Air Force pilots. Along with that, a military band, local high school bands and several local entertainment groups will perform throughout the day.
Hamburgers, hot dogs, chili and cold drinks will be given away, as well. A limited number of chairs will be available so Bandy recommends bringing some folding chairs along. The airport is at 5840 Airport Rd in Andrews, North Carolina.
Email Bandy@brmemc.net or call Bandy at 828-361-0193.