Tuesday, November 19, 2013
On November 11, the nation paused to honor those living veterans, as well as those soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen that are serving to protect our freedom. In Williamsburg County, students, elected officials, family, and friends gathered to pay tribute to local veterans. Veterans Day was observed in a ceremony held at the Alex Chatman Complex on Main Street, Kingstree.
Veterans Day originated as Armistice Day with the end of World War I in 1918. A year later a proclamation declared November 11, as the first commemoration of Armistice Day. It was primarily a day set aside to honor veterans of World War I, but in 1954, after World War II and Korea, the 83rd Congress, at the urging of the veterans service organizations, amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word "Armistice" and inserting in its place the word "Veterans." With the approval of this legislation, November 11, became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.
The local ceremony included the presentation of the Colors by C.E. Murray JROTC and the National Anthem performed by the Kingstree High School Band. Guest speaker retired Marine Sergeant Major Milton Duke delivered a poignant message regarding the sacrifices of our veterans.
Newly appointed Veteran's Affairs Counselor retired Army National Guard First Sergeant Robert McClary also recognized those who served in the Korean War. At the conclusion of the service, veterans were invited to a complementary meal at the Kingstree Recreation Center.
The event was organized through the efforts of a consortium to include the Veteran's Affairs Office, the American Legion (Post #8 Auxiliary) and the Veterans of Foreign Wars (Post 6500). McClary said with the help of these groups, next year the county will see its first Veterans Day parade in years.
The history of Veterans Days was obtained through the US Department of Veterans Affairs. For additional information regarding the history of Veterans Day visit www.va.gov or call Williamsburg County Veterans Affairs officer Robert McClary at (843) 355-9321, ext. 6301.
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