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Dawsonville recognized again as regional site
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For the fifth consecutive year, Dawsonville has been recognized by the United States Department of Veteran Affairs as a 2011 Veterans Day Regional Site.

"It's not an easy task," said Pam Hamalainen, president of the Veterans Affairs Committee of Dawson County. "We're proud to have been chosen as one of two sites in Georgia. It shows that we're right up there with the big dogs."

Atlanta and Dawsonville are the only two sites in Georgia to receive the recognition.

In order to be recognized as an official Veterans Day site, an application must be filed with the Veterans Day National Committee. The committee then investigates to ensure that the applying organization is working to honor veterans and active military personnel.

"We try to do our best to do that year round," Hamalainen said. "And especially on Veterans Day."

The Veterans Affairs Committee, in conjunction with the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce, will hold its seventh annual Veterans Day Celebration on Nov. 11 in downtown Dawsonville.

Formal ceremonies honoring veterans will be held at 2:45 p.m. at Dawson County Middle School.

Capt. Larry Freeland will serve as master of ceremonies and Col. James Linder will serve as the keynote speaker. Linder is one of the top 50 most decorated living veterans in the United States.

Active military personnel and their families will act as grand marshals for the event, and will highlight the parade set to begin at 5 p.m. at the school. The public is invited to line the streets of downtown to show their support.

The Veteran Affairs Committee is also accepting nominations for the 2011 Dawson County Veteran of the Year.

For more information on how to nominate a veteran, contact Hamalainen at (678) 438-3823 or visit