In the wake of Election Day, Campbell County is preparing to honor the men and women whose service has secured the right to vote.
“We just look forward to honoring our veterans, past and present,” said Kevin Walden, director of the Campbell County Veteran’s Affairs Office. “For the sacrifices of them and their families.”
The events will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday in Jellico at Veterans’ Park. All veterans will be recognized. The American Legion Post 154 Honor Guard will present colors, present the wreath, have a 21-gun salute and play taps. Walden will sing the national anthem and those assembled will be led in pledging allegiance to the flag. Walden will be the special speaker, and local singer and songwriter Larry Boles will perform patriotic songs he wrote.
On Sunday, a full military service will be held at 10:45 a.m. at the Church of God Mountain Assembly on North Florence Avenue.
“This is my home church,” Walden said.
The American Legion Post 154 Honor Guard will present colors, hold a 21-gun salute and play taps. There will be a 13-fold flag presentation and all veterans will be recognized. The national anthem will be sung along with patriotic songs. Walden is the special speaker. There will also be a video presentation to honor about 150 veterans, past and present, Walden said.
LaFollette will host the second annual Veterans’ Day Parade Sunday at 3 p.m. Last year’s Veterans’ Day Parade was the first in about 20 years.
Roger Bingham is organizing the parade along with Preacher Tom Gillum and former director of Campbell County Veterans Affairs Office Bob Andreas. All three are Vietnam veterans, Bingham said.
The Campbell County Honor Guard, American Legion Post 154 Honor Guard and the Appalachian Chapter 105 of the Disabled American Veterans will all serve as grand marshals for the parade. The grand marshals will lead the parade along its route down Central Avenue from LaFollete United Methodist Church to Sonic. Veterans and active duty troops will follow them.
Widows and the children of veterans who have died can ride in the parade and display the name of veterans they wish to honor.
Following the troops will be politicians, citizens and businesses.
“We’d like to have the churches involved too,” Bingham said.
Participants will line up at LUMC between 2 p.m. and 2:15 p.m. Participants need to contact Bingham at 201-5310 or Gillum at 494-6349.
A Veterans’ Day Memorial Service will be held on Monday at 11 a.m. at the Campbell County Veterans’ Memorial.
“We’ll have a military service with the Campbell County Honor Guard and the DAV Chapter 105,” Walden said.
The honor guard and the DAV will present the colors and Campbell County High School sophomore Lauren Roberts will sing the national anthem, Walden said. Those in attendance will pledge allegiance to the flag. All veterans will be recognized. There will be a presentation of a wreath, 21-gun salute and taps will be played. Retired Army Lt. Colonel Logan Hickman will be the special speaker and Walden and his wife Kim Walden will be special singers.
“The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive the veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation,” Walden quoted President George Washington.
“We need to always be consistent in recognizing our veterans,” Walden said. “Our future depends on recognizing and honoring our veterans. So we need to do that.”