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Area colleges, groups plan Veterans Day ceremonies

Gainesville State, North Georgia to read soldiers' names who died in war

POSTED: November 7, 2011 12:41 a.m.

Gainesville's American Legion Post 7 and two area colleges have announced plans to honor veterans Friday.

The Paul E. Bolding Post plans to hold its annual Veterans Day ceremony at 11 a.m. at Lakewood Baptist Church, 2235 Thompson Bridge Road, Gainesville.

The program will feature many of the same activities that mark the annual ceremony, including the posting of the colors by Riverside Military Academy and performances by Chestatee High School band and young singers from Maranatha Christian Academy in Oakwood.

The one big difference this year is the ceremony won't be held at its usual site, the Georgia Mountains Center.

"They got paid by somebody to use their place and they can't give it to us free this year," said Dave Dellinger, American Legion commander. "(One) can understand that."

Past commander Ray Shubert will emcee the event, and the featured speaker is retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. J.D. Kirby.

Also, Gainesville Mayor Ruth Bruner and Hall County Board of Commissioners Chairman Tom Oliver will present Veterans Day proclamations.

The Gainesville Elks Lodge plans to hold a free spaghetti dinner for veterans and their families at 2 p.m. All others will be charged $5 per plate.

Also, the American Legion, which is based off Riverside Drive, plans to offer free hot dogs and hamburgers for veterans, as well as police officers and firefighters, starting about 12:30 or 1 p.m., Dellinger said.

Two area colleges, North Georgia College & State University in Dahlonega and Gainesville State College, have joined a nationwide grass-roots effort to honor military personnel who have died while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

They will join colleges and universities across the nation in reading their names.

North Georgia will hold a wreath-laying ceremony at 9 a.m. at the North Georgia Memorial Wall, located outside Memorial Hall Gymnasium. The memorial was built by the North Georgia Alumni Association to honor alumni who have died in combat.

Then, the first of some 40 people will begin reading the names and will pause only to recognize a simultaneous national moment of silence at 2 p.m.

The reading is expected to take nearly eight hours to complete. It is scheduled to end at 5 p.m. with "Retreat," the university's long-held traditional lowering of the American flag, accompanied with a bugle call and firing of the cannon.

In addition, the Student Government Association plans to set up a tent nearby for people to sign holiday cards for soldiers stationed overseas.

Gainesville State plans to begin reading names at 7:40 a.m. on the Student Center patio facing the Quadrangle.

A remembrance ceremony is set for 11:11 a.m., along with the 2 p.m. moment of silence.

A location for reflection will be available for individuals who wish to sit quietly while the names are being read. Counselors will be on hand to talk to anyone who needs their services.

The Office of Student Affairs is coordinating the day's events.

Also, flags will be available for people to place on the Quadrangle to honor or remember a soldier or veteran. There will also be a display of military memorabilia from GSC students, faculty and staff members who are veterans or who have family members who served in the military.


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