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Camden begins annual veterans salute

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The Camden County High School U.S. Coast Guard Junior Leadership Program posts the colors at Camden County's Veterans Day observance in the Camden County Courthouse, Friday.

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111018 Veterans Day
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From staff reports

Saturday, November 10, 2018

CAMDEN — The Albemarle began its annual salute to those who’ve served the nation in uniform with a Veterans Day ceremony at the Camden County Courthouse on Friday.

About 50 people attended the ceremony, which included participation by county officials and students in the Camden County Schools.

Alex Leary, a retired Camden High School history teacher, was the keynote speaker. Leary noted that Sunday will be a special Veterans Day because it also will mark the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, the official end of the First World War.

Leary gave a brief history of Camden County residents who have participated in U.S. wars. He said a total of 416 people from Camden took part in the American Revolution.

"More than any other Albemarle county," he said.

Another 100 residents took part in the War of 1812, another hundred in the Mexican War in the 1850s, and still another 100 in the Spanish American War in the 1890s, Leary said. 

Some 500 participated in the Civil War in the 1860s, while 100 took part in World War I and another 317 served in World War II, he said.

"Camden County can truly be proud of its history, its service in fulfilling its duties in the wars this country has fought," Leary said.

More area Veterans Day ceremonies, observances and programs will be held on Sunday and Monday.

At 11 a.m. on Sunday, area churches are being asked to ring their church bells 11 times in honor of the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. The armistice officially ending the war was signed at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11, 1918.

Then at noon on Sunday, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6060 will host a Veterans Day observance at Waterfront Park. Among those scheduled to speak at the ceremony are Pasquotank Sheriff Randy Cartwright and Sgt. Maj. Doug Smith, a retired member of the U.S. Army and VFW member.

A parade of the colors by various organizations and a formation of U.S. Coast Guard personnel will open the ceremony. A U.S. Coast Guard vessel is also scheduled to be docked at the park for public tours.

American Legion Post 40 will also hold its Veterans Day ceremony on Sunday. The event will be held at the Chowan County Veterans Memorial off Queen Street in Edenton at 2 p.m. Evan Thompson, commander of the N.C. American Legion, is the scheduled speaker.

At both 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Sunday, College of The Albemarle will host a “Veterans Day Tribute” program in the Performing Arts Center. Tickets to the show, which will feature patriotic songs as well as wartime standards, are $19.50 for adults, $18.50 for seniors, $9.50 for students and children, and $16.50 a person for groups of 10 or more. All veterans, active or retired military personnel will receive the student rate of $9.50. For ticket information, call 335-9050.

Two other Veterans Day ceremonies will follow on Monday. American Legion Post 126 will host its annual Perquimans County Veterans Day observance on the courthouse lawn at 11 a.m. In case of inclement weather, the event will be moved to the recreation center in Hertford.

American Legion Post 288 will host its Veterans Day ceremony at Veterans Memorial Park just off Coinjock Canal Road in Coinjock at 11 a.m. Currituck Board of Commissioners Chairman Bobby Hanig will be the speaker. In case of rain, the program will be held at the American Legion post at 174 Worth Guard Road, Coinjock.

The region’s observances of Veterans Day actually began on Thursday, when staff at Museum of the Albemarle placed 106 wooden crosses on the museum's front lawn. Each cross, hand-painted by museum staff with the help of members of the Elizabeth City Boys & Girls Club, commemorates an Albemarle county resident who died in World War I, museum officials said. Inscribed on each cross is the soldier’s name, native county and date of death.

“Each of the crosses follow the dimensions and form of the stone markers used in American military cemeteries overseas, such as the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery that contains the dead from the final American offensive,” the museum said in a press release.

According to the museum, 2,375 North Carolinians died in the First World War.

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