Remembrance will look different during pandemic
Jones County will celebrate its veterans for the 20th time next weekend with a Veterans Appreciation Day that will look like no other.
The theme of this year’s event is Twenty years of Honoring Our Jones County Veterans and Celebrating the Vision from 2001-20.
Jones County Veterans Appreciation Day will take place Nov. 14 in the parking area behind the Jones County Courthouse and leading to the W.E. Knox Civic Center. Entry to the drive-thru event starts on Gordon Street with registration in front of Gray United Methodist Church.
Registration for veterans begins at 10:30 a.m., and the program that will take place in the middle of the parking area begins at 11. Those attending the event can listen to the program in their vehicles by tuning into 91.9 FM.
The Jones County High School JROTC drill team will present the colors for the program and will be performing a drill demonstration.
Veterans Committee Chairman Retired Col. Richard Combs will lead the opening prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance.
Jones County veterans who have attended previous events should receive a post card announcing the event. That postcard includes a copy of the program and instructions of how to enter the celebration area.
All veterans will receive a map of the route when they register at the event. The map points out the different stations on the route that includes where they will receive their service hats, hand carved flags (while supplies last), DAR and Gray Garden Club goodie bags, and where to pick up their pre-sold chicken plates from American Legion 142.
Veterans will also be able to view a vintage car show presented by the Jones County Cruisers that is also set up to be enjoyed while driving through it.
In addition to the drive-thru events, the Pilot Club will have baked goods for sale, and the Friends of the Library are holding an old book sale.
American Legion members will be selling tickets for their annual rifle raffle, and the drawing for the prize is scheduled to take place at noon.
Trying to safely celebrate veterans, many of whom are senior citizens, was a challenge for sure, but Jones County’s Veterans Committee members were determined that the event would happen, even during a pandemic.
Committee member Frank Duke came up with the idea of a drivethru event and the idea was expanded as committee members met and put their heads together. An update from the committee’s Oct. 14 meeting stated that those attending the Veterans Appreciation Day event would have the option of driving through to view the stations and collect their items of appreciation or park and walk to the venues.
Duke said Hart’s Mortuary would be providing two tents for the entrance of the event, and Gray Memorial Chapel would provide additional tents if needed.
Twenty Years of Honoring Our Jones County Veterans Celebrating the Vision from 2001 – 2020 November 14, 2020
Special Thanks to the Veterans’ Day Celebration Contributors
Sponsored by the Jones County Veterans Planning Committee
American Legion Post 142
Boy Scout Troop
Bradley Baptist Church
Bradley Baptist Church City of Gray Danny DuBose
Friends of the Library
Gray Garden Club
Gray Memorial Chapel
Gray Police Department
Gray United Methodist Church
Jones County Commissioners
Jones County Cruisers
Jones County High School
Jones County High School JROTC
Jones County High School Media Staff
The Jones County News
Jones County School System
Jones County Sheriff’s Office
Pilot Club of Jones County