Veterans Day is a day when Americans honor and thank the people who have served in the armed forces. Its official date, Nov. 11, is the anniversary of the signing of the armistice that ended World War I in 1918.
The local observance of Veterans Day will take place on Monday at the Aiken County Veterans Memorial Park. The Marine Corps League's James L. Hammons Detachment No. 939 is the organizer of the ceremony, which will begin at 11 a.m.
“We want to show our support to all veterans, regardless of the era they served in,” said Lane Parker. “We also want to honor the families of veterans.”
The Aiken ceremony's keynote speaker will be Robert Murphy, who is the director of veteran and military student success at USC Aiken. Murphy is a Marine Corps veteran who completed more than 20 years of service as a chief warrant officer-4 and was a leader in multiple national and international efforts involving security and antiterrorism.
S.C. Rep Bill Taylor, R-Aiken, also will participate in the ceremony, and the Aiken Area Akademie Homeschool Band will perform.
There will be a presentation of colors by the Aiken Department of Public Safety Honor Guard.
“Seating will be available, but it will be on a limited basis,” Parker said. “We recommend that people bring lawn chairs to sit in.”
Parker all so suggested that spectators arrive by 10:45 a.m., so they can get settled in by the time the ceremony starts.
“It will begin promptly at 11 a.m.,” he said.
The ceremony will last 30 to 40 minutes and will take place “rain or shine,” according to Parker. The event is free and open to the public.
The Veterans Memorial Park is located at 1435 Richland Ave.
Dede Biles is a general assignment reporter for the Aiken Standard and has been with the newspaper since January 2013. A native of Concord, N.C., she graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.