Carter County will hold two Veterans Day observances on Monday

John Thompson • Nov 5, 2019 at 8:25 PM

ELIZABETHTON _ There will be a few changes to the Veterans Day observances in Carter County this year, but there will still be two separate programs presented on Nov. 11.

One of the changes is the time of the traditional Veterans Day observance presented by the Carter County United Veterans Council. For decades, the event has been held at 10 a.m., but this year the event will be held at 2 p.m.

For the past 20 years the event has been rotated among the four high schools in the county and the city high school. The idea was that every high school student in Carter County should have the chance to see the event at least once during their high school years. That won’t change and this year the event will be held at Unaka High School.

The other Veterans Day program in Carter County will once again be held at the Elizabethton/Carter County Veterans War Memorial at 11 a.m.

This program is presented each Veterans Day by the Elizabethton/Carter County War Memorial Oversight Committee, which is responsible for maintaining the Veterans War Memorial in downtown and the adjoining Elizabethton/Carter County Veterans Walk of Honor.

This year, there are new members on the committee after a reorganization approved recently by the Elizabethton City Council. This will be the first Veterans Day program put on by the new committee, which includes Eizabethton Mayor Pro Tem Bill Carter, Mike Barnett, Rick Walters, Andrew Wetzel, and Tim Hitchcock, and alternate members John Ferguson, Ryan Hazlett and Robert Barnes.

Carter said this year’s ceremony will include a medley of patriotic songs sung by Loretta Bowers and military honors presented by the Carter County Honor Guard.

Carter said he will speak on the history of the Veterans War Memorial and Walk of Honor and also discuss plans for the future of the two institutions, including plans for another wall that will carry the names of Carter County veterans who do not already have a granite brick placed in honor of their service.

In the event of bad weather, the ceremony will be held at the Elizabethton Park and Recreation Center, 300 W. Mill St.

The service at Unaka High School will be viewed by all students. Veterans and their families may also attend.

David K. Batchelder, veterans service officer for Carter County, said the event will include most of the staples from previous years, including the Missing Man Table Ceremony, the Flag Folding Ceremony and the playing of “Taps.”

The guest speaker will be retired Chief Warrant Officer Randy Lingerfelt. Batchelder said the Unaka High School Band will also play a medley of patriotic songs.