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Brundidge to honor veterans on June 30

Features Editor

June 30 will be a grand ol’ day in Brundidge when Johnny comes marching home.

A red, white and blue event has been planned to honor veterans of all wars as the nation gets ready to celebrate Independence Day

July 4.

The Pike County Veterans Affairs Office, in conjunction with military service organizations and business and historical groups, will host a Celebration of a Century of Heroes – a Tribute to America’s Veterans Friday, June 30 beginning at 7 p.m. at the Knox Ryals Pavilion in downtown Brundidge.

"The Fourth of July is a day of family fun and barbecues but we must all remember the real reason for the day is to celebrate the independence of our great nation," said Randy Ross, Pike County veterans affairs officer. "The freedoms that we enjoy came at a high price and we must never forget those who paid that price. We thought it fitting that we honor our veterans in a very special way."

Ross said the idea for the event was an extension of a request to have a commemorative event for the veterans of the Korean Conflict which began June 26, 1950.

"This June marks the beginning of the war in Korea and the veterans of this war will be honored as we commemorate this event," Ross said. "But we also want to recognize and honor the veterans of all wars. The veterans of World War II are said to be dying off at a rate of 1,000 a day, so we especially want the pay them a debt of gratitude for what they did for us."

Ross said the Vietnam veterans are long overdue in being recognized and honored.

"They came home to an ungrateful nation but now we are more understanding of what they did and appreciate their patriotism when so many at home failed to be patriotic," Ross said. "Most recently, the Gulf War made us realize that there are still battles to be fought and there are still brave men and women who are willing to do the toughest job on earth. We will honor them too at this special celebration."

Ross said plans for Celebration of a Century of Heroes are still being developed but the event will include the introduction of veterans of each branch of the military and of each of America’s wars.

"We will have a USO Show on stage at the pavilion much like the USO Shows that brought a little bit to home to our soldiers in foreign lands," he said. "The show will feature local talent and it’s shaping up to be a great treat for everyone."

Ross said the celebration will be a great opportunity for Pike and surrounding communities to pay tribute to its veterans and personally say, "Thank you for what you did for America and thank you for what you did for me and my family,"

For more information, contact Ross at 566-1780.