Veterans Day is just around the corner.
An official with a local veterans advocacy group said attending Dawson County’s Nov. 11 event is a good way to show gratitude to those who served.
“Our veterans have given so much and received so little in return,” said Pam Hamalainen, president of Veterans Affairs of Dawson County. “This is our one day out of the year to honor and recognize them.”
The sixth annual Veterans Day Celebration will start a little differently this year, with the formal ceremony first at 3 p.m., followed by the downtown parade at 4 p.m.
Gubernatorial candidate Nathan Deal is scheduled to be keynote speaker at the formal ceremony, which takes place in the gym at Dawson County Middle School.
The 2010 event marks the fourth straight year the local parade has been recognized by the Department of Veterans Affairs as a Veterans Day Official Site.
It’s one of 58 other sites in the country. Georgia’s only other site is in Atlanta.
Recognizing Dawson County’s Veteran of the Year is a yearly tradition at the event. Nominations can be sent up until Oct. 20.
Last year’s selection was local physician Larry Anderson, who served in Vietnam from 1966-68.
Active military personnel are recognized with markers and ribbons in front of the Dawson Community News building in downtown Dawsonville.
Those who already have a marker and have returned from active duty should contact Hamalainen, so that a ribbon cutting ceremony can be arranged to welcome them home.
Nominations for Veteran of the Year should be 500 words or less and addressed to Veterans Affairs of Dawson County, 200 Kathy Lane, Dawsonville, GA 30534.
Hamalainen can be reached at (678) 438-3823.