Veterans Day in the High Country

By Jeff Eason (

Article Published: Nov. 7, 2013 | Modified: Nov. 13, 2013
Veterans Day in the High Country

World War II veteran Robert Myers Bumbaugh salutes the flag during a celebration at Blowing Rock Memorial Park. Bumbaugh died this past February.

Photo by Kristin Bumbaugh Espinosa

Veterans Day is traditionally celebrated at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of the year.

This year, that moment will mark the 95th anniversary of the official end of hostilities in World War I in 1918 and the 94th anniversary of President Woodrow Wilson declaring the day to be celebrated as Armistice Day.

In honor of the new holiday, Wilson said, “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations.”

Armistice Day, or Remembrance Day as it was sometimes known, continued to honor the veterans of World War I until 1945, when Raymond Weeks of Birmingham, Ala., had the idea to change it to honor veterans of all American wars. Weeks championed the cause and brought his idea to Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, who also supported the notion of a National Veterans Day.

On May 26, 1954, Eisenhower, then President of the United States, signed the bill into law, recognizing Nov. 11 as Veterans Day. Whereas Memorial Day is a day set aside to recognize those veterans who gave their lives to defend our country, Veterans Day is meant to recognize all veterans, no matter where and when they served.

Locally, the High Country has a number of celebrations and services planned to honor military veterans in our communities.

Additionally, a number of restaurants in the area plan on serving free or discounted meals to veterans with proper military identification on Monday, Nov. 11.

Area Schools

On Friday, Nov. 8, Cove Creek Elementary School, Parkway Elementary School and Green Valley Elementary School will honor Veterans Day by hosting a number of events featuring local military veterans.

Blowing Rock

Veterans and their supporters will gather at Blowing Rock Memorial Park at 11 a.m. Monday, Nov. 11, to celebrate Veterans Day. The event will include speakers, patriotic songs and a moment of silence for those veterans who paid the ultimate sacrifice and never returned to their homes alive.
While in the park, visitors are urged to read the names on the plaque citing those Blowing Rock servicemen who died during wartime.

Boone Mall

The Boone Mall will hold its annual Military Officers Association of America-sponsored Veterans Day celebration, beginning at 11 a.m. Monday, Nov. 11. The event will include presentations from the Watauga High School Marine JROTC Color Guard and the Watauga Community Band. For more information, call (828) 264-7286.

Blowing Rock School

A parade of veterans will visit Blowing Rock School beginning at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 12. Three of the veterans will then speak to students at the school about their experiences in the United States military. For more information, call (828) 295-3402.

Appalachian State University

Appalachian State University will host a Veterans Day ceremony Monday, Nov. 11, beginning at 7:30 a.m. The ceremony will be held at the Veterans Memorial located on the west side of Dougherty Administration Building. A continental breakfast will follow in the Dougherty Administration Building lobby. The public is invited.

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