Residents looking to pay homage to men and women of the Armed Forces in recognition of Veteran’s Day will have several opportunities in Bryan County to do so throughout the weekend and into next week.
Festivities begin on Saturday in Pembroke when the American Legion Ladies Auxiliary Unit 164 will host its annual Veteran’s Day program at 11 a.m. in the town park downtown near the caboose.
The event will feature guest speaker Maj. Gen. Marvin Back and six new flag dedications.
On Monday, residents in the southern end of the county will have the opportunity to pay tribute to veterans starting early with the Capt. Matthew Freeman 5K Run for Peace.
The third annual 5K event is at 8:30 a.m. in J.F. Gregory Park. The race benefits the Matthew Freeman Project: Pens and Paper for Peace, an initiative that collects and distributes school supplies to children in war-torn countries.
Bonnie Proctor with the Matthew Freeman Project said organizers are expecting a good turnout.
“We’re ahead of registration from last year,” Proctor said. “Last year we had 300 registered and ran about 287. The weather, according to the forecast now, looks wonderful, so we’re hoping that’ll bring more people out.”
New to the event this year, Proctor said, is a 1K fun run, which will begin at 9:30 a.m. after the 5K is finished. The 1K is open to kids ages 12 and under and seniors ages 60 and over.
Proctor added there will be a special flag dedication in honor of Sgt. Joshua Born who ran in the event last year.
“He finished first in his age group and deployed to Afghanistan and was killed in action in February,” she said. “Some of his group is back early and they’re running in his memory and will present a flag in his honor.”
Proctor said race organizers will accept registration up until the day of the race. For more information, visit www.freemanproject.org.
Directly following the 5K race at 11 a.m., the city of Richmond Hill will host its annual Veteran’s Day program in J.F. Gregory Park.
According to Planning and Zoning Director Steve Scholar, the ceremony will feature several guest speakers from the American Legion, VFW, Vietnam Veterans of America and more. The keynote speaker for the event is Maj. Julie D’Annunzio, 2-3 Brigade Troops Battalion commander at Fort Stewart.
The event will end with the laying of the wreath on the veteran’s monument in the park, a 21-gun salute and “Taps” played by Cpl. Tim Saia with the Richmond Hill Police Department.
Scholar said the city is expecting a good crowd and is always glad to honor military.
“It’s a very good cause and it’s a fitting thing to do to honor our veterans,” Scholar said. “Many people in city are retired military, so it’s just a proper way to recognize achievements of military people.”