Organizers have put the final touches on the sixth annual Veterans Day Celebration, a day many months in the making.
Many residents are proud to have the Thursday event in their own backyard, particularly since it is one of just 54 sites nationwide recognized by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
“It’s nice to know how much people really care,” said Wayne Watkins, president of the local chapter of Vietnam Veterans of America.
“The showing we get for this event is something very special to all of us veterans, and we are grateful to all the residents who attend.”
Pam Hamalainen, president of Veterans Affairs of Dawson County, agreed.
“Our veterans have given so much and received so little in return,” Hamalainen said. “This is our one day out of the year to honor and recognize them.”
The celebration begins with a formal ceremony at 2:45 p.m., followed by the parade through downtown at 4 p.m.
Governor-elect Nathan Deal is scheduled to be keynote speaker at the formal ceremony, which takes place in the gym at Dawson County Middle School.
The event also includes the announcement of Dawson County’s Veteran of the Year.
Last year’s selection was local physician Larry Anderson, who served in Vietnam from 1966-68.
Other Veterans Day events Thursday include an assembly at Black’s Mill Elementary School, where retired educator Terry Greene will talk to students about the importance of the national holiday.