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Annual ceremony pays tribute to veterans
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Veterans of all ages and from each military branch will be honored Monday during Dawsonville's ninth annual Veterans Day celebration.

Formal ceremonies will be held at 2:15 p.m. in the auditorium of Dawson County Middle School, followed by a parade through downtown Dawsonville that begins at 4 p.m.

"Our veterans must be honored and I must say I'm very proud of our nation, proud of our state right now, because more and more groups, more and more cities, are doing Veterans Day activities and organizing events for veterans and supporting veterans," Don Brown, president of the Veterans Affairs of Dawson, which organizes the events.

Designated as a 2013 Veterans Day Regional Site by the Veterans Day National Committee, Dawsonville is one of only two regional sites in Georgia to receive the recognition. The other is Atlanta.

The group, along with volunteers from Etowah Water and Sewer Authority and Chick-fil-A, will also provide lunch for the veterans and their spouses at 1 p.m. at the middle school.

"Our big intent is to look at the veterans and say thank you very much. Thank you for serving. Thank you for sacrificing. Thank you for being here and allowing us to honor you," Brown said.

Veterans in attendance from the various wars will also be introduced during the hour-long ceremony beginning with several men who served in World War II.

Bill Repella, a veteran of World War II and the Korean Conflict who served with the Army Special Forces in Vietnam, is scheduled to serve as master of ceremonies.

There will also be a tribute to honor the 2013 Veteran of the Year, which will be announced during the ceremony.

This year's formal ceremonies will also include singers performing songs from the various wartime eras.

"Then following the part dedicated to Desert Storm and the War on Terror, Chance Passmore is going to sing ‘Proud to Be an American,'" Brown said. "After his performance, the JROTC from Dawson County High Scholl is going to do the POW/MIA Missing Man Table, which brings tears to most veterans' eyes."

Brown said he encourages the community to show its support this Veterans Day by lining the streets of downtown Dawsonville for the parade that follows the formal ceremonies.

"We've bought 2,000 of these 4 by 6 flags that we're going to pass out on the parade route, particularly to the young people, but they'll be available for anybody that is there," he said. "The intent is for the young people to have a flag to wave and something to take home with them that reminds them of this Veterans Day."