Veterans Day observances extend nearly a week in Carter County

John Thompson • Updated Nov 7, 2017 at 8:05 PM

ELIZABETHTON — Veterans Day will take place over the greater part of a week in Elizabethan and Carter County this year.

The first event took place at the Veterans Monument on Tuesday, when the Rolling Thunder veterans motorcycle group held a short ceremony to raise new American flags and POW/MIA flags on the flagpoles at each corner of the monument. A small audience stood and saluted as a bugler sounded “Taps” and the flags were raised.

Short speeches were given by Carter County Mayor Leon Humphrey and state Rep. John Holsclaw. Humphrey mentioned the multiple days that event will be taking place this year and he encouraged citizens to thank veterans this week for their service.

Humphrey said the donor of the new flags wished to remain anonymous for the time being, but he said there could be recognition made at an upcoming County Commission meeting.

Another flag ceremony is planned for the downtown Veterans Walk of Honor on Thursday at 11 a.m. The ceremony will be conducted by the cadets in the Carter County’s military program.

Carter County’s oldest Veterans Day program is presented by the Elizabethton/Carter County Unified Veterans Council. Each year, the program is held at one of the county or city high schools. It is rotated between the five high schools so that students from each of the five high schools should be able to observe the ceremony once while they are in high school.

Because Veterans Day falls on a Saturday this year, this year’s program will be presented on Friday, Nov. 10, at 10 a.m. at Happy Valley High School.

Students will take parts in several of the parts of the program, including leading the audience in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, the playing of “Taps” and the national anthem, and the salute to veterans of all the nation’s wars.

Other parts of the program will include the POW/MIA Empty Chair Ceremony and the reciting of the poem “In Flanders Field.”

All veterans in attendance will be recognized.

The Veterans War Memorial Committee will hold the annual Veterans Day Ceremony on Saturday at 11 a.m. at the downtown Veterans War Memorial.

This year the invocation will be given by the Rev. Raymond W. Amos of First United Methodist Church. The national anthem and patriotic medly will be presented by Loretta Bowers. An honor guard will be posted by Post 49 of the American Legion in Watauga.

The address will be given by Col. Jim Cross, chairman of the Northeast Tennessee Area of the Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve.

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