Area ob­serves Vet­er­ans Day

The Progress-Index - - FRONT PAGE - Staff Re­port

The 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month ...

For 100 years, that phrase has be­come so closely as­so­ci­ated with the hol­i­day for­merly known as Ar­mistice Day but bet­ter known now as Vet­er­ans Day. For it was at that pre­cise time -- 11 a.m. on Nov. 11, 1918, that an ar­mistice be­tween the al­lies of the United State and Ger­many was signed, all but end­ing World War I, the “War to End All Wars.”

And while the of­fi­cial peace treaty was not signed un­til 1919, Nov. 11 is, and al­ways will be, con­sid­ered the true end of the war.

More im­por­tantly, it has been ex­panded to honor not just those who lost their lives in World War I but also to honor all vet­er­ans, liv­ing or dead, of all wars and po­lice ac­tions in which the United States was a part.

This year, as part of the ar­mistice cen­ten­nial, sev­eral lo­cal­i­ties will hold spe­cial ob­ser­vances, in­clud­ing a first-ever Vet­er­ans Day pa­rade in Hopewell.

Hopewell

Be­gin­ning at 11 a.m., churches across the city will ring bells to com­mem­o­rate the day. That also will be the start­ing time of the an­nual Vet­er­ans Day cer­e­mony at City Point Na­tional Ceme­tery, where mem­bers of Hopewell High School’s JROTC al­ready will have placed minia­ture Amer­i­can flags on each of the graves.

Dur­ing the cer­e­mony, Charles Wissinger, a Richmond-based ac­tor and his­tor­i­cal in­ter­preter, will be dressed as a World War I sol­dier -- com­monly called a “dough­boy” -- and talk about mil­i­tary life dur­ing the war.

Fol­low­ing the cer­e­mony, the Amer­i­can Le­gion Post 146 will host a lun­cheon at its post home on East City Point Road.

At 3 p.m., the first-ever Vet­er­ans Day Pa­rade in Hopewell will leave the Cav­a­lier Square area and move to­ward Ash­ford Civic Plaza in down­town. It will fol­low the same path as the city’s Christ­mas Pa­rade -15th Av­enue to City Point Road, City Point Road to Main Street, then Main Street to West Broad­way and the plaza.

Cara Buck­ley, pub­lic re­la­tions and mar­ket­ing man­ager for the VFW, said ap­prox­i­mately 35 en­tries from across the area will be in the pa­rade, but she was hop­ing to get in a cou­ple of more be­fore Sun­day.

The Bea­con Theatre will host a free con­cert of pa­tri­otic mu­sic at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Ch­ester­field County

The Ch­ester­field His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety of Vir­ginia will com­mem­o­rate the cen­ten­nial with a tolling of the 1917 Court­house bell in honor of the 19 Ch­ester­field County res­i­dents who died serv­ing in World War I. There also will be a per­for­mance by the St. Au­gus­tine Church Choir, a pre­sen­ta­tion of ban­ners and wreaths, a color guard and a view­ing of tac­ti­cal ve­hi­cles from the 502nd Trans­porta­tion Com­pany.

Af­ter the cer­e­mony, the Ch­ester­field Twin­ning As­so­ci­a­tion will host a mu­si­cal per­for­mance in­side the His­toric 1917 Court­house. Par­tic­i­pants can visit ex­hibits in the Ch­ester­field County Mu­seum and the His­toric 1892 Jail, in­clud­ing the new “Ch­ester­field Re­mem­bers World War I: A Cen­ten­nial Com­mem­o­ra­tion.”

The event will take place at 2 p.m. at the Ch­ester­field County Gov­ern­ment Com­plex, 6819 Mimms Loop.

On Nov. 12, John Tyler Com­mu­nity Col­lege will host its an­nual Vet­er­ans Day Cer­e­mony. The cer­e­mony will be­gin at 11 a.m. in Hamel Hall, room H109, at the Mid­loth­ian Cam­pus, lo­cated at 800 Char­ter Colony Park­way.

Also dur­ing the cer­e­mony, the Rolling Thun­der Chap­ter 5 VA will present the col­lege and its Stu­dent Vet­er­ans Or­ga­ni­za­tion with a POW/MIA flag, and the col­lege will rec­og­nize its fac­ulty, staff and stu­dent vet­er­ans. The cer­e­mony will con­clude with a memo­rial tree plant­ing.

Colo­nial Heights

The Amer­i­can Le­gion Post 284 and the VFW Post 2239 will host its an­nual Vet­er­ans Day ob­ser­vance at 11 a.m. Sun­day at the city’s War Memo­rial, lo­cated on the Boule­vard across from the city Court­house. In ad­di­tion to the wreath-lay­ing and speeches, the 23rd Quar­ter­mas­ter Brigade from Fort Lee will pro­vide the fir­ing party, and Post 284 will pro­vide the color guard. Mu­sic will come from third-graders at Tuss­ing Ele­men­tary School.

Fol­low­ing the cer­e­mony, an open house will be held at the Amer­i­can Le­gion post home on Spring­dale Av­enue.

Dun­lop House As­sisted Liv­ing & Mem­ory Care, lo­cated at 235 Dun­lop Farms Boule­vard in Colo­nial Heights, will host a spe­cial vet­er­ans’ cer­e­mony this Fri­day at 1 p.m. The cer­e­mony is free and open to the pub­lic.

Dun­lop House, in part­ner­ship with the VFW Post 2239, has also cre­ated a Flag Field at the fa­cil­ity. More than 200 flags on on dis­play in front of Dun­lop House in honor of Vet­eran’s Day. At­tached to each flag is the name of one of Vir­ginia’s fallen mil­i­tary per­son­nel who passed away in the line of duty since serv­ing af­ter 2003. The pub­lic is in­vited to view the Flag Field now un­til Nov. 12.

Din­wid­die County

Pam­plin Park and the Na­tional Mu­seum of the Civil War Sol­dier is build­ing its com­mem­o­ra­tion around ser­vice of all mem­bers from the Amer­i­can Rev­o­lu­tion to the present day.

The park will hold a cer­e­mony at 11 a.m. Sun­day. It will fea­ture col­ors pre­sen­ta­tion by the Vir­ginia State Uni­ver­sity ROTC, a bell-ring­ing ser­vice and ar­tillery sa­lute, and a liv­ing-his­tory pre­sen­ta­tion fo­cus­ing on World War I dough­boy life.

Also, park staff will lead a walk­ing tour through the orig­i­nal Civil War earth­works at the park and their par­al­lels with the World War I trenches.

Through­out the day, a spe­cial dis­play of ar­ti­facts from World War I will be on dis­play in­side the mu­seum.

Prince Ge­orge County

The an­nual Vet­er­ans Day ob­ser­vance will be held at 2 p.m. Sun­day on the lawn of the Her­itage Cen­ter (the 1883 Court­house), 6406 Court­house Road. The cen­ter will have on dis­play its War Memo­rial Project, re­mem­ber­ing all those from Prince Ge­orge who died in ser­vice of their coun­try..

This event is spon­sored jointly by the Prince Ge­orge County Re­gional Her­itage Cen­ter and Amer­i­can Le­gion Post 120.

Peters­burg Na­tional Bat­tle­field

On the eve of Vet­er­ans Day, Peters­burg Na­tional Bat­tle­field will honor vet­er­ans past and present by “lit­er­ally shed­ding light on the gravesites of those who made the ul­ti­mate sac­ri­fice in or­der to de­fend their coun­try”. The an­nual lu­mi­nary pro­gram will be held Satur­day evening at Po­plar Grove Na­tional Ceme­tery, lo­cated at 8005 Vaughan Road in Din­wid­die County. The event will be­gin at 5:30 p.m. and end at 8 p.m.

This year’s event will fo­cus on the sto­ries of World War I soldiers laid to rest at Po­plar Grove.

Due to space lim­i­ta­tions, there will be no park­ing al­lowed at Po­plar Grove Na­tional Ceme­tery. Park staff, vol­un­teers and vis­i­tors can park at Richard Bland Col­lege, lo­cated at 11301 John­son Road, in South Prince Ge­orge, where a free shut­tle will pro­vide trans­porta­tion to and from the ceme­tery. The first shut­tle will de­part from Richard Bland Col­lege at 4 p.m. and will make con­tin­u­ous round trips to the ceme­tery with the last shut­tle de­part­ing Po­plar Grove at 8:15 p.m. Vis­i­tors are en­cour­aged to bring flash­lights to help avoid step­ping on tree roots. This event may be can­celled due to bad weather.

[JOHN ADAM/PROGRESS-IN­DEX.COM]

Cadet Lt. Col Sean Wood, left, and Cadet Lt. Col. Cho­sen Rivers, right, mem­bers of Hopewell High School’s ROTC pro­gram, plant flags on the graves at City Point Ceme­tery in Hopewell in honor of Vet­er­ans Day on Nov. 7. Nu­mer­ous cer­e­monies and pa­rades are be­ing held around the re­gion over the week­end to cel­e­brate Vet­er­ans Day, which is Nov. 11.

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