ELIZABETHTOWN — The eighth annual Bladen County Veteran's Day Ceremony is planned for Friday, Nov. 8, at 11 a.m. at the National Guard Armory in Elizabethtown. The guest speaker for the event will be Command Sgt. Major LeRoy Purdie, U.S. Army retired.
“Command Sgt. Major LeRoy Purdie is originally from Elizabethtown, but now he resides in Georgia where he is a professor at the University of Phoenix-Savannah campus. He was awarded the Bronze Star during his service,” said Bryan Martin, one of the event's organizers.
The event will again be held indoors for the second year. There will be a performance by the West Bladen High School Band and special music by Clarissa Allen, Victoria Pait and Charity Pait; the presentation of student essay awards; the placing of the wreath; a demonstration by the East and West Bladen High School JROTC Drill teams; and a memorial tribute to Col. Mildred Irene Clark Woodman, U.S. Army Nurse Corps retired.
The VFW Post, along with the American Legion, are working on a Walk of Honor and new monuments will be placed for the event.
“The VFW Post is working hard to have it done by the ceremony,” said Martin.
Lunch will be served following the ceremonies.
The Veterans' Day celebration in Elizabethtown was begun in 2004 or 2005 when Ann Garrett presented a proclamation to the Elizabethtown Town Council declaring the week of Nov. 11 as “Hire a Veteran Week” and she made the comment to the council then that she would like to see a Veteran's Day celebration in the town. In an earlier interview with the Journal Garrett said after the meeting she was asked by then-Town Manager David Bone if she could organize a Veteran's Day celebration.
The National Guard Armory is located at 1001 Swanzy St. in Elizabethtown.