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These 2 Veterans Day events are taking place Nov. 11 in Gainesville
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The US flag and the flags of each military branch fly in the wind during a Memorial Day weekend event at Rock Creek Veterans Park in Gainesville. - photo by Erin O. Smith
Two events this Veterans Day will allow Hall County residents to gather in person to honor local veterans for their service. 

Starting at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 11, Longstreet Veterans and Vietnam Veterans of American Chapter 772 welcome the public to attend a Veterans Day ceremony at Rock Creek Veterans Park, located at 223 Northside Drive in Gainesville.  

Jerry Peck, member of Longstreet Veterans, said after a prayer and leading the Pledge of Allegiance, he’ll dedicate a new monument to the park, which was donated by Jack Frost, owner of Memorial Park Funeral Home. Peck said the black marble structure stands 6 feet tall and is in the shape of Vietnam.  

“This one is dedicated to Vietnam veterans,” he said.  

The ceremony will then be turned to former Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, for brief remarks. A moment of silence will follow, then Jeff Gore, president of Chapter 772, will play “Taps” on a trumpet. 

Gore said the whole event will last around 30 minutes and masks are encouraged but not required. 

Once the ceremony ends, veterans are invited to attend an event hosted by Paul E. Bolding American Legion Post 7 members at their headquarters on 2343 Riverside Drive in Gainesville. From 12:30-3 p.m., people can enjoy an afternoon filled with cornhole, fishing and free barbecue.  

Chapter 772 will hold raffles for a Henry Golden Boy rifle and $250 in cash. Gore said all the money will help veterans in need and their loved ones. 

“We normally do these events that bring in crowds, and we get donations,” Gore said referring to fundraising before the pandemic. “We decided to take the bull by the horns and raise money and help needy veterans and their families.” 

Johnny Varner, veteran service officer for the American Legion Post 7, said all veterans who attend will receive a free pack of COVID-19 personal protective equipment, including masks, hand sanitizer and gloves. For those who’d rather not spend time at the event, Varner said they can pick up the prepackaged items to-go.  

“We do have a lot of older World War II, Korean and Vietnam veterans that all probably have pre-existing conditions,” Varner said. “We can do this to give them a short supply for their car or person while they’re out and about.” 

Varner said he was able to purchase the gear through a $5,000 COVID-19 relief grant presented by the North Georgia Community Foundation. He said his post also used the funds for touchless hand sanitizer dispensers, extra face coverings, contactless thermometers, plexiglass barriers and other preventative equipment. 

For Wednesday’s event, Varner assures people that there will be ample room for social distancing, with space both inside the post’s building and outside.  

"This is for veterans, so we can get together,” he said. “Everybody that shows up, we’ve got enough masks for them.” 

Rock Creek Veterans Park Ceremony 

What: Short ceremony with local veterans and former Gov. Nathan Deal 

When: 10 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 11 

Where: Rock Creek Veterans Park, 223 Northside Drive, Gainesville 

American Legion Veterans Day Event 

What: Event honoring veterans with cornhole, fishing and barbecue 

When: 12:30-3 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 11 

Where: Paul E. Bolding American Legion Post 7, 2343 Riverside Drive, Gainesville 

More info: Johnny Varner, 470-577-3617