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Special events honor those who served

Town of Unicoi Mayor Johnny Lynch stands with Joshua Tilson and veteran Hazel Berry during an event in the Town of Unicoi. (Erwin Record Staff Photo by Richard Rourk)

By Richard Rourk

Locals took time to remember our veterans over the holiday weekend.

The Clinchfield Senior Adult Center teamed up with Caris Healthcare to kick off the Veterans Day festivities on Friday, Nov. 8, with a lunch and presentation for area veterans. According to Clinchfield Senior Adult Center representative Charlene O’Dell, there were roughly 45 visitors for the Clinchfield Senior Adult Center Veteran’s Day Lunch.

“We handed out 19 certificates to veterans that attended,” O’Dell said. “We had a full lunch with a very special dessert.”

According to O’Dell, former Town of Erwin Mayor Russell Brackins was on hand to welcome all of the guests. Dot Gardner, Sam Dalton and Ginger Dalton provided the musical entertainment.

The Town of Unicoi hosted its annual Veterans Day Lunch on Saturday, Nov. 9, from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m., in the Buffalo Conference Room. According to Town of Unicoi History Committee member Pat Lynch, the Town of Unicoi hosted more than 50 veterans and more than 100 attendees in all on Saturday.

“We are very pleased with our turnout,” Lynch said.

The meal consisted of handmade sandwiches and desserts and plenty of finger foods. According to Lynch, this was a joint venture between the Town of Unicoi History Committee and the Town of Unicoi.

Closing out the Veterans Day events, the Town of Erwin held its annual Veterans Day program. The Unicoi County High School AFJROTC presented the colors and Veterans Memorial Committee Chairman Bill Hensley welcomed the crowd to the Unicoi County Veterans Memorial Park next to Gentry Stadium. Hensley then handed the program over to Reverend Craig Shelton, who led the invocation and Allan Foster sang the National Anthem.

American Legion Post 25 Commander Ray Tipton presented the POW/MIA ceremony for those that have not returned.

“This is a ceremony for those that have not come back yet,” Hensley said.

According to Tipton, the sacrifices of veterans are reminders of the high price of freedom. “Those who have served and continue to serve are ever mindful of the sweetness of enduring peace that has always been tainted by the bitterness of personal sacrifice,” Tipton said.

The guests then heard from a very special guest speaker, Jim Buchanan, who explained the history of Veterans Day.

“The treaty signed to end World War I, which was signed in the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, is often regarded as the day that ended all wars,” Buchanan said. “The original concept was to gather for parades in remembrance and suspension of business to start at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11.”

The attendees were treated to treats, refreshment and fellowship following the program.

The Erwin Record joins the municipalities and organizations of Unicoi County in thanking all of our veterans for their service.