Local veterans won’t be forgotten Nov. 11

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By Kayla Vaughn

Lancaster County Veterans Day ceremonies and celebrations will kick off with a Nov. 10 program at the Buford Battlefield, 262 Rocky River Road, Lancaster, and end with the Veterans Day Parade and ball Nov. 11.
Program at Buford Battlefield
During the 1 p.m. program in Buford, the color guard of Buford High School JROTC will present the service flag of each branch of the armed forces. Lisa Douglas will sing the national anthem and Pastor Candice Sloan of Hopewell United Methodist Church will give the invocation.
Retired U.S. Air Force veteran John J. Kelly Jr. will speak, the honor guard of Indian Land VFW Post 12136 will fire the rifle salute and Roger Higbea will play “Taps.”
Two plaques will be dedicated during the ceremony. The first is a donors plaque to represent the groups, individuals and corporations who have donated funds to improve the battlefield. The second plaque recognizes Emily Carnes Franklin, who was active in the preservation and maintenance of the site.
Veterans Day Parade
The parade, which is an annual event, is scheduled for noon Nov. 11 and will feature groups representing every branch of the U.S. military.
Those participating in the parade should meet at 11 a.m. in the courthouse parking lot on Dunlap Street.
The parade route is down Main Street, beginning at the courthouse and ending at Williams Street.
There will be no ceremony after the parade this year.
Veterans Day ball
New this year is a sold-out Veterans Day ball the evening of Nov. 11.
All veterans who bought tickets may attend “A Night to Remember” from 5 to 9 p.m. at the American Legion Post 31, 823 Kershaw Camden Highway, Lancaster.
Attendees are asked to dress in their Sunday best for dinner and dancing.
“This is the first military ball I have ever attended, and the first one, to my knowledge, that Lancaster County has sponsored,” said James Taylor, commander of the Capt. John P. Monahan VFW Post 12136.
Taylor, who was in the U.S. Navy for almost 32 years, believes the event is a great idea.
“It’s an opportunity to meet with fellow veterans, celebrate our prior affiliations with the military and have our spouses involved at the same time,” he said.
American Legion Post 31 Adjutant Gene Wallace also plans to attend the ball for the festivities, as well as the camaraderie that comes with seeing his fellow veterans.
“You may meet someone who was over there (overseas) at the same time as you and didn’t even know it,” Wallace said. He served six years in the Navy and 14 years in the U.S. Air Force.
The event will include guest speaker Leanne Weldin, director of the Columbia Veterans Affairs Regional Office, dinner, music and dancing. The South Singers will perform and there will be music by Elite Entertainment.
For details on the poarade or ball, call the Lancaster County Veterans Affairs Office at (803) 283-2469.

Follow Kayla Vaughn on Twitter @kaybvaughn or contact her at (803) 283-1155.