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Dawson County Veterans group urges citizens to remember veterans despite cancelled celebration
VETERANS DAY 2020
Though the annual Veterans Day parade was canceled due to COVID-19 concerns, a local veterans group says that residents should still take time to remember, honor and thank veterans in the community. - photo by Alexander Popp

Every year on Veterans Day, Americans all across the country take time to both honor and celebrate the men and women that laid down their lives for their country. People in Dawson County usually celebrate with a parade in honor of local veterans, but this year due to COVID-19 local celebrations and gatherings have been canceled. 

Despite the cancellation of local celebrations, officials with Veterans Affairs of Dawson County say that citizens should still take time this year to remember and thank local veterans for their service. 

According to Don Brown, Veterans Affairs of Dawson County president, even though canceling the celebration was a tough decision, it was the right one for the safety and protection of the community, especially for older veterans in the community who are already in a higher-risk demographic for the virus. 

Every year on Veterans Day, Americans all across the country take time to both honor and celebrate the men and women that laid down their lives for their country. People in Dawson County usually celebrate with a parade in honor of local veterans, but this year due to COVID-19 local celebrations and gatherings have been cancelled. 

Despite the cancellation of local celebrations, officials with Veterans Affairs of Dawson County say that citizens should still take time this year to remember and thank local veterans for their service. 

According to Don Brown, Veterans Affairs of Dawson County president, even though cancelling the celebration was a tough decision, it was the right one for the safety and protection of the community, especially for older veterans in the community who are already in a higher-risk demographic for the virus. 

“Most of our veterans up here are in their 70s or 80s, and we have a couple World War II veterans who are in their 90s,” Brown said. “So we don’t want anyone to get sick, so we decided to cancel it this year.” 

According to Brown, it is very important that Dawson County residents not overlook the holiday, despite not having a community celebration. 

“Many of our residents are seen wearing caps or apparel that show their service; Veteran of World War II, Veteran of Korean War, Veteran of Vietnam War, Veteran of Desert Storm, Veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan or just a cap that shows the branch they served with,” Brown said. “Please take a moment to say ‘thank you for your service’. It means a lot.” 

In Dawson County, citizens are still finding small ways to honor veterans, even without the parade or ceremony. Dawson County Government offices are closed for the holiday, and Dawson County Schools are taking a half day. 

Brown, who is a veteran himself, said that many veterans come home with lasting consequences from their time in the service, from post traumatic stress disorder to depression and suicidal thoughts. Because of this and many other reasons, it is paramount that veterans are reminded that they are not forgotten and that they are appreciated. 

“Dawsonville will not have a lunch for our veterans, there will be no program to honor them, and there will be no parade around the old courthouse,” Brown said. “But our veterans are still here, still among us and deserve recognition wherever they are. Take the time to honor them.”

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