PEMBROKE — Veterans from every war the United States has fought in, from World War II, Korea and Vietnam to Iraq and Afghanistan, and more than 300 of the county’s Junior Reserve officers will be honored in Pembroke on Saturday, the eve of Veterans Day.
The Veterans Day Parade, which will feature about 60 entries, will begin at Pembroke Elementary School at 10 a.m. and end at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke’s Givens Performing Arts Center. Those who plan to participate in the parade should begin lining up at 9 a.m.
There will be a flag-raising ceremony at 11 a.m. at the Pembroke Town Park, with guest speaker John Atkinson, a retired major general of the National Guard, and a chicken and fish plate sale will be held from noon to 3 p.m. at the VFW building in Pembroke.
Greg Cummings, who served in Vietnam in 1968 and is one of the events organizers, said that the parade dates back to World War II and is one of the oldest in the state. He said that it’s an important day for the public to show their gratitude to veterans.
“I would ask people on that day, if they meet veterans or know any veterans they need to thank them for their military service to this country,” Cummings said. “I’m proud to say that I’m an American because I know the sacrifices that have been made by our veterans.”
Daniel Jones, a Vietnam War veteran and post commander for the VFW in Pembroke, said the parade is an important day to recognize the sacrifice veterans have made.
“It’s a day to show recognition to veterans,” Jones said. “It’s the veterans that paid the price to make sure that we can live free.”
President Woodrow Wilson first proclaimed Nov. 11, 1919, as Armistice Day to commemorate the signing of a treaty that ended combat in World War I on the 11th hour of the 11th day of 11th month in 1918. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed legislation in 1954 changing the holiday to Veterans Day to recognize veterans of all wars.