08/12/10 — Town honored for Veterans Day celebration

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Town honored for Veterans Day celebration

By Catharin Shepard
Published in News on August 12, 2010 1:46 PM

WARSAW -- Warsaw has received an early special recognition for its dedication to honoring America's veterans.

The federal Veterans Day National Committee of the Department of Veterans Affairs named Warsaw a Veterans Day Regional Site for 2010.

Veterans Day Regional Sites receive special prominence and recognition from state and national officials.

The department chooses select observances throughout the country that represent fitting tributes to veterans, based on a community's previous celebrations. The regional sites are intended to serve as examples for other communities seeking to host their own observances, according to the program website. About 50 communities in the nation were named regional sites this year.

Warsaw has been celebrating Veterans Day for 90 years, long before the day was even an officially recognized holiday. The idea of a day honoring veterams gained prominence after President Dwight D. Eisenhower formed the Veterans Day National Committee in 1954 to plan and promote the observance of Veterans Day nationally and regionally.

Local ceremonies are important because not every veteran can travel to Washington, D.C., for the national celebration, Warsaw Veterans Day Committee leader Linda F. Kitchin said.

"We're so excited that we have been selected, especially since it's our 90th," Ms. Kitchin said.

When Warsaw locals and visitors recognize American servicemen and women's dedication and sacrifice to their country this year, it will be with a few special additions.

Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki will notify Gov. Beverly Perdue of the selection and will encourage her to support the town in its efforts to honor veterans. Warsaw will receive military liaison officers, one for each branch of the military, from the Department of Defense to coordinate local military ceremonial support for the annual celebration. The town will also receive posters to advertise its status as a Veterans Day Regional Site.

"I am confident that your celebration of Veterans Day will set an example for the rest of the nation to follow," said Tammy Duckworth, assistant secretary for public and intergovernmental affairs at the Department of Veterans Affairs, informing the town of its new status.

Warsaw is the home of the longest-running consecutive Veterans Day celebration in the United States, according to town officials.

Warsaw is beginning the planning process for this year's celebration. The next planning meeting will be Aug. 17 at 6:30 p.m. at Warsaw town hall.

The Warsaw Veterans Day celebration will be held Saturday, Nov. 6, starting at 8:30 a.m. The sidewalk sale for vendors begins at 9 a.m., with memorial services held at 10 a.m. at Veterans Park. The parade begins at 11 a.m. with a demonstration by the armed forces. A barbecue lunch is held at noon at the Warsaw Fire Department and American Legion Post. The LP Best House/Duplin County Veterans Museum will be open from 1-4 p.m.

Vendor and parade entry forms are available on the town's website. For more information, contact the Warsaw Chamber of Commerce at 910-293-7804.

Fayetteville, Charlotte and Morehead City were also named Regional Veterans Day sites for 2010. Veterans Day is Nov. 11.