Veterans Day falls on Saturday, and is often strictly observed then, but that doesn’t mean the only events commemorating veterans will be held that day.
Lula’s Veterans Day Memorial Service is set for 10 a.m. Friday at Veterans Park off Main and Athens streets.
The featured speaker will be Joseph Natividad, a 30-year Army veteran and retired command sergeant major.
He said he plans to talk about the contributions of women to the U.S. military.
“When you mention a veterans’ event, 9 out 10 people think of a man,” Natividad, who settled in Lula after a career including tours to Vietnam and South Korea.
“Only one might consider the thousands and thousands of females who have the same privilege as a man.”
The event also will features patriotic music from the Lula Elementary fourth- and fifth-grade chorus, prayers, a color guard presentation and singing of the national anthem.
The University of North Georgia is holding its annual Memorial Roll Call from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Gainesville campus student center.
The names of all U.S. soldiers who died 2001-17 will be read aloud.
Among those names will be UNG alumni Weston C. Lee, Thomas E. Vitagliano and Charles H. Warren, all in Iraq; and Jeremy A. Chandler, Andrew H. McConnell, Kevin M. Jenrette, Paul Saylor and Mitch Young, all in Afghanistan.
Veterans and Adult Learners Program students will sell flags and place them in front of the student center to show their support for veterans.
A military history van will be on campus, displaying military weapons and memorabilia from different eras.
Turning to Saturday, the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 772 is holding a ceremony at 9 a.m. at Rock Creek Veterans Park off Northside Drive and West Academy Street in Gainesville.
Hall County Superior Court Jason Deal will be the featured speaker. Wreaths will be laid at the Vietnam War and Korean War monuments in the park.
“Most of us have to get to (Lakewood Baptist) church, so we’re not running it too long,” said Dave Dellinger of the VVA chapter.
Lakewood is the setting for the annual Veterans Day Program sponsored by the American Legion Paul E. Bolding Post 7.
The event starts at 11 a.m., customarily the time when Veterans Day is observed in official ceremonies. The day is rooted in the signing of the Armistice, or peace agreement, ending World War I at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11, 1918.
The featured speaker is retired Army Col. Larkin Vance, who served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. He also served in different stints in the Navy, Air Force and Army, and on the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington, D.C.
“I’m going to emphasize not the success of military but the dedication to service,” said the Hall County resident.
“You’re constrained when you’re in combat. The government decides — or senators decide — what you can and cannot do,” said Vance, who plans to speak at a later event at Lanier Village Estates retirement community in North Hall.
“So, I’m going to paint a picture of the military as a brotherhood, including males and females. And the veterans are not that far removed from the military themselves.”
The American Legion event also will feature the posting of colors by the Hall County Honor Guard, patriotic performances by the Chestatee High School Band and a 21-gun salute by the Hall County Sheriff’s Office.