The county observes the nation’s 91st Veterans Day tomorrow with the biggest Veterans Day Parade in the state, beginning in Morehead City at 11 a.m. The parade runs from 17th Street at St. Egbert Catholic Church to Fifth Street.
Officially designated a regional site for celebrating Veterans Day, Morehead City is one of 62 sites selected nationwide by the office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs and the Veterans Day National Committee.
All veterans are invited to march, says county Veterans Service Officer, Col. Hark Gotard, USMC (Ret.).
The parade commemorates the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, which this year is Sunday, when the armistice was signed ending World War I in 1918.
Parade grand marshal is Maj. Gen. Glenn M. Walters, commanding officer of the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing aboard Maine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point.
Among special guests at the parade in addition to veterans will be Third District Congressman Walter B. Jones Jr., R-N.C.; N.C. Sen. Jean Preston, R-Carteret; N.C. Rep. Pat McElraft, R-Carteret; former POWs, American Gold Star Mothers, numerous active duty and retired armed forces members, military officers of area units and leaders of veterans groups.
Leading the parade will be the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing Band. Other bands will be Croatan High School, East Carteret High School, West Carteret High School and the Havelock Community Band.
Color guards and military equipment from the Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and from numerous eastern North Carolina veterans’ organizations and their auxiliaries will be in the parade.
Also marching will be the Carteret County World War II Veterans Group ROMEO (Retired Old Men Eating Out, World War II China-Burma-India Campaign veterans, Women Veterans of Coastal North Carolina, N.C. Korean War veterans, Merchant Marines and mariners from Sailor’s Snug Harbor and a contingent of Vietnam veterans.
First Presbyterian Church invites all veterans to a free lunch after the parade. Non-veterans are asked to pay $6.
Also included will be members of the VFW and American Legion Posts, Military Order of the Purple Heart, the West Carteret High School NJROTC, the Havelock High School ROTC, Young Marines from Cherry Point, Havelock, Swansboro and New Bern, as well as Girl and Boy Scouts, Brownies and Cub Scouts from Carteret and Craven counties and members of the Boys and Girls Club of Coastal Carolina.
Many other organizations and groups will march — all paying homage to America’s veterans.
Home to more than 67,000 veterans, residents of the Third Congressional District understand, perhaps more than other Americans, the sacrifice and the selfless, heroic service the nation’s veterans have given America.
Veterans Day is when our nation salutes all of America’s 25 million living veterans, giving them thanks.
We show gratitude through a renewed commitment to care for those men and women who have faithfully served our nation in uniform.
We salute all — living and dead — who have served and serve this nation, and we ask your reflection on Veterans Day and its meaning.