Area veterans will be honored on Nov. 11 with ceremonies in Stokesdale and Summerfield.
By Thomas Lester
They stepped into harm's way when our nation's safety was called into question. On Nov. 11, they will be honored locally.
Two Veterans Day activities are planned in northwest Guilford County. At 2 p.m., Northwest Guilford VFW Post 7999 will unveil its finished Veterans Monument at the Summerfield Community Center. An hour later, the annual Veterans Day service will be held at the Veterans Monument in Stokesdale.
The unveiling of the completed Veterans Monument in Summerfield is an event half a decade in the making. The memorial was formally dedicated on July 4, 2011 and currently consists of several flagpoles with pavers bearing the names of veterans.
"We're looking forward to this. It's the culmination of five years of efforts," says VFW Post 7999 Commander Roy Lee." We've been working hard, trying to get this memorial completed. It's been a struggle. It's going to be a proud day and it means a lot to the veterans. This is not just an Army or Navy thing; it's for all veterans who have worn the uniform."
In addition to its current features, the finished monument in Summerfield will consist of a bust of a G.I. by sculptor Paul Nixon, as well as plaques with emblems for each branch of service. New flags will also be part of the unveiling. Nixon is known for creating the bronze statue of a firefighter with two children for the Greensboro Fire Department.
In addition, retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Buster Glosson, a Summerfield native, will speak briefly before the unveiling.
"Speaking, I hope, for all veterans, it's a great day. Everybody's excited about it in our post," Lee says. In Stokesdale, the first service at the Veterans Monument was held on Veterans Day in 2005 and it has been tradition to hold it there each year since.
The monument, located at Vulcan Materials Co., 6826 U.S. Highway 158, is a tribute to all veterans from all branches of the military and includes the names of 435 veterans engraved on bricks on its Walkway of Honor. Barbara Marshall, a member of the Veterans Monument Committee, says the monument came about thanks to a dedicated few.
"In 2004 four ladies from Stokesdale United Methodist Church decided that northwest Guilford County needed a Veterans Monument. We were and have always been patriotic and in less than a year we raised enough money to build and dedicate our monument," Marshall said. "Until the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan brought honoring veterans to the forefront and acknowledging that it was the right thing to do, the younger generations for the most part were oblivious to all the other millions of veterans out there from previous wars."
The special guest speaker at the 3 p.m. ceremony in Stokesdale will be Air Force Staff Sergeant Travis Caldwell, who has recently returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan.