The oldest Veterans Day observance in the county is annual event sponsored by the Carter County United Veterans’ Council. Each year, the council hosts the event at one of the five high schools in the county and Elizabethton. The program is rotated between the schools so that every student who attends one of the high schools should be able to observe the events one time between their freshman and senior years.
That schedule will change this year, when the Veterans Council will present two programs, one on Friday and the other on Monday.
David Batchelder, the county’s veterans service officer, said the reason two observances are being held this year is because Cloudland High School had been scheduled last year, but floor damage to the gym floor caused it to be postponed.
The council will make up for that missed event in Cloudland by holding an observance on Friday at 10 a.m. at the school. The makeup will be the same events usually held at the observances, including the Missing Man Ceremony, recognition of all veterans in the audience.
Elizbethton High School is the school that is scheduled for the observance this year, and the council will hold it at the school’s gym on Monday at 9:30 a.m.
The annual observance at the Elizabethton/Carter County Veterans War Memorial will be held at 11 a.m. The event is always held at 11 a.m. on the 11th day of the 11th month, but since the 11th falls on a Sunday this year, it was decided to move the observance to the 12th.
Elizabethton Mayor Pro Tem Bill Carter said this year’s event will be presented by Post 49 of the American Legion and its commander, Rick Waters.
Carter said some highlights will include a medley of patriotic songs sung by Loretta Bowers, and honors rendered by the Carter County Honor Guard.
In addition to the traditional Veterans Day observances in Carter County, there will also be a special observance at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park.
Park Manager Jennifer Bauer said this special Veterans Day observance will be held in the amphitheater behind Fort Watauga at 3 p.m. Sunday. The observance will pay tribute to the combatants of the Battle of Kings Mountain and all current veterans and members of the armed forces.
The annual tribute to the Overmountain Men is traditionally held on Sept. 25, the day the frontiersmen and militia men gathered at Sycamore Shoals on their march to Kings Mountain, S.C. That observance was moved to Veterans Day this year because the Sept. 25 event was postponed.