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Veterans Day parade and other ceremonies kick off this weekend

Becky Campbell • Nov 6, 2019 at 7:46 PM

The American Legion will host a Veterans Day parade on Saturday and hopes citizens will brave the weather to attend.

The parade begins at 11 a.m., starting at the East Tennessee State University parking lot near the intersection of University Parkway and West Walnut Street. The route will proceed down West Walnut to Buffalo Street, then turn right on East Main Street then over to East State of Franklin Road and end in the Burley Tobacco Lot at the corner of Legion Street, across the street from the Dairy Queen.

American Legion Commander Brian Lauzon said the grand marshal for the parade will be World War II veteran George Gough.

“George in one of 22 World War II veterans who are members of the Kings Mountain Post 24, American Legion,” Lauzon said. “George is healthier than most and is able and willing to get out and represent his fellow ‘Greatest Generation’ veterans. We are losing these veterans at the rate of a hundred a day.”

George Gough’s story:

Gough entered the Navy in December 1942 in Nashville, then boarded a train to San Diego, where he attended Navy boot camp and then trained as a gunner’s mate.

He was assigned to a number of merchant supply ships that had been converted into warships to carry military supplies and men from San Diego to various locations in the Pacific. He and his ship participated in the battle for Iwo Jima and were preparing for the invasion of Okinawa, Japan, when they were tasked to carry wounded GIs back to Seattle for medical care.

George and his ship were in Calcutta, India, when the second atomic bomb was dropped over Japan and the war ended a few days late). Shortly there after the ship returned to San Diego and was returned to merchant status, guns removed and sailors reassigned. Gough, a gunner’s mate 2nd class, was discharged from the Navy in the fall of 1945.

Other Veterans Day events include:

• Jonesborough’s Board of Mayor and Alderman and Veterans Affairs Committee will host the 2019 Veterans Musical Concert on Sunday, Nov. 10, at 2:30 p.m. at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center. In honor of Veterans Day, the event will feature the Tennessee Highway Patrol Honor Guard presenting and retiring colors, along with the Daniel Boone Marine Corps Junior ROTC.

Presenters will include Mayor Chuck Vest, Jonesborough Veterans Affairs Committee Chair Marion Light, and Jonesborough Operations Manager Craig Ford. Musical entertainment will be provided by the Appalachian Express Chorus. Taps will be provided by Jim Culp. The event will be followed by a reception that is open to the public.

• Boys & Girls Club of Greater Kingsport and the Tri-Cities Military Affairs Council will host the 7th Annual Honoring Our Heroes event on Friday at St. Dominic Catholic Church. 

Tickets are on sale now for the dinner celebrating retired military personnel, police officers, first responders (fire and EMS), education and medical professionals, and Boys & Girls Club of Greater Kingsport youth members. Tickets are $45, or $270 for a full table.

• On Monday, Nov. 11, at 11 a.m., area veterans organizations will conduct their annual Veterans Day ceremony commemorating the service of all veterans. The ceremony will be held at the Kingsport Veterans Memorial, 630 Fort Henry Drive. Kingsport Mayor Pat Shull will be the featured speaker.

• Greene County Mayor Kevin Morrison will serve as guest speaker during Tusculum University’s annual Veterans Day ceremony in the Thomas J. Garland Library. Morrison, an Army veteran who has served as county mayor since September 2018, will deliver his remarks as part of multidimensional event Friday, Nov. 8, at 4 p.m. The ceremony is free and open to the public.

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