Veterans Day Events November 11, 2021

Veterans Day Events November 11, 2021

In honor of our local veterans, a number of Veterans Day events are taking place across the Tri-Cities region on Thursday.

Veterans Day is an annual holiday honoring military veterans with ceremonies typically held at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month — the official ending of World War I. President Woodrow Wilson first proclaimed the holiday in 1919, then called Armistice Day, to honor the veterans of that war. President Dwight Eisenhower expanded the holiday to include all veterans.

No matter where you live in the Tri-Cities, it will be only a short drive to a Veterans Day event. Here’s a list of some of the ceremonies taking place across our region.

• ABINGDON: The event will be held at Veterans Memorial Park at 11 a.m. on Thursday. The keynote speaker will be Col. John Bradley III USAF (Ret.). Bradley served in the Vietnam War, received the Distinguished Flying Cross in 1969, then worked his way up to wing commander before retiring after 29 years of service.

The ceremony will also include a procession from the Appalachian Highlanders Pipes & Drums and tree dedications in honor of six local veterans.

• ETSU: East Tennessee State University will honor veterans with a special ceremony at 11 a.m. on Wednesday in the Quad — a grassy area located between Brooks Gym and Gilbreath Hall. The keynote speaker will be U.S. Navy Captain Harry “Chuck” Hayes, a decorated veteran with more than three decades of service.

• GATE CITY: Gate City will host a Veterans Day celebration on Thursday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Grogan Park (150 Park Ave.). The event will include a patriotic ceremony followed by a hot dog lunch. The event is sponsored by Gate City Frontier and the town of Gate City.

• JOHNSON CITY: Kings Mountain Post 24 of the American Legion and the Daughters of the American Revolution will host a remembrance ceremony on Thursday. The 30-minute event will begin at 9 a.m. at the Doughboy statue in Memorial Park, which is at the intersection of East Main Street and 510 Bert St., across from the Municipal and Safety Building.

The ceremony will include presentations on the history of Arlington National Cemetery and the 100th anniversary of the dedication of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

There will also be a ceremony at 11 a.m. on Thursday at the Johnson City/Washington County Veterans Memorial (703 W. Main St.).

• KINGSPORT: The Tri-Cities Military Affairs Council is holding a Veterans Day event at the Kingsport Veterans Memorial at 11 a.m. on Thursday.

The guest speaker will be Bill Kilgore, the past national commander of AMVETS and a 39-year veteran of the U.S. Army, the Army National Guard and the Army Individual Ready Reserve.

• ROGERSVILLE: A ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. Thursday at the Hawkins County courthouse.

The guest speaker will be Command Sgt. Maj. Jeff Broyles, U.S. Army (Ret.), a 30-year veteran who served during Operations Just Cause, Desert Storm and Shield, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

  • ELIZABETHTON: As has been a tradition for many years, there will be two separate ceremonies commemorating Veterans Day in Carter County on Thursday.

One will be held at Hampton High School this year, starting at 9:30 a.m. The second one will be in downtown Elizabethton at the Veterans War Memorial at 11 a.m. The ceremonies are scheduled so that anyone wishing to attend both events in their entirety would be able to do so.

The ceremony at Hampton High has taken place for decades and was created by the Carter County United Veterans Council. It was intended that the ceremony be held at one of the five high schools in Carter County and the city of Elizabethton. The intention was to expose every high school student in Carter County and Elizabethton to at least one of the Veterans Day ceremonies. To accomplish that, the ceremony would circulate to a different high school each year. This year, it’s Hampton’s turn.

David Batchelder, veterans service officer for Carter County, said the public is invited to the event and will be escorted to the gymnasium for the ceremony. Veterans attending are asked to stand for wars and conflicts they were involved in so the students and the rest of the public may applaud them for their service.

This year, remarks will be delivered by Army Maj. Greg Tester. Other ceremonies and events will include the Missing Man Table Ceremony led by retired Army Chief Warrant Officer Randy Lingerfelt; the Pledge of Allegiance led by Hampton student Isabella Brown; the national anthem by the Hampton High band; and Taps by Hampton High student Samantha Sexton.

The second event will be presented by the Elizabethton/Carter County Veterans War Memorial and Veterans Wall of Honor at 11 a.m. The event will take place at the flagpoles in the Walk of Honor.

Music for the event will be presented by vocalist Loretta Bowers, who will sing a patriotic medley. Marine Corps veteran Myles Cook will lead the ceremony of raising the flags of the six armed forces. Jon Shell will perform patriotic tunes on the bagpipes, and the third phase of the Veterans Memorial will be announced, as the memorial wall is nearing completion and veterans applications for inclusion onto black granite bricks is continuing.

A reception for the veterans will be hosted by Simply Elegant in the 500 block of East Elk Avenue following the ceremony.