EDENTON -- About 100 people gathered Wednesday to honor those who served in our nation's military during a Veterans Day ceremony behind the Chowan County courthouse in Edenton.

Superior Judge J.C. Cole, of Hertford, served as the guest speaker. A veteran of the Navy, Cole said the things he learned during his brief time in the military, paved the way for who he is today. 

"That discipline, commitment and teamwork I learned served me well to this day," he said. "Service is a life-shaping experience."

Cole noted that it was up to the nation's veterans to guide the country in these troubled times.

"There are two enemies of our nation, the current division between groups and COVID-19," he said. "It is up to us veterans to step forward, turn the situation around and help close these divides."

He urged those who have not served in the military to serve the community, by sharing their talents and passions with the rest of the world.

"My challenge to all of you is to do something," he said. "To preserve our freedoms, we must put them into action by volunteering, voting and teaching our children what it really means to be Americans."