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Veterans event to commemorate end of WWI

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Veterans event to commemorate end of WWI

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DEBBIE LURIE-SMITH/EDITOR Veterans committee member Frank Duke (left), who spearheaded the U.S. Flag drop box project, was joined by representatives of the Jones County Board of Commissioners, City of Gray and Boy Scout Troop 485

The Jones County Veterans Committee is looking at options to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the signing of the armistice that ended World War I.

Committee Chairman Richard Combs called the Aug. 23 meeting to order and the first order of business was to go over the scheduled events for Jones County’s 18th annual Veterans Appreciation Day Nov. 10.

The annual event takes place at the W.E. Knox Center and honors all veterans who served. This year’s celebration also takes place on the birthdate of the U.S. Marine Corps.

Combs explained Nov. 11 was celebrated as Armistice Day until the holiday was changed to Veterans Day in 1954 to honor the service of all veterans.

He said the committee would be working with State Bank Sept. 28, preparing and serving the food for its annual Customer Appreciation Day. The event is a fundraiser for the Veterans Committee.

The chairman said the Jones County Cruisers would be holding a car show as part of the Nov. 10 program and the Veterans Day celebration would begin at 9 a.m. that morning with the sixth annual 5K & Fun Run.

Registration for all races begins at 8:30 a.m. on Nov.

10. Registration forms are available at the Chamber and on the Macon Track Running Club site calendar at macontracks.org/racecalendar.  The online forms can be printed and submitted and early registration continues through Oct. 26.

Committee members Alan Carr and Bonnie Duke are working on sponsorships for the T-shirts for the race.

Combs said a WWI weapons display is planned for Nov. 10 and artists from the Chaptacular Chainsaw Carving Bash that will be taking place the same weekend would once again be donating patriotic carvings to be given to lucky veterans.

The chorus from Dames Ferry Elementary will be featured as part of the program.

Gray Mayor Ed Barbee said the city council and Jones County Board of Commissioners would present a joint proclamation in honor of veterans.

The chairman said the American Legion is on board to sell hamburgers and hot dog plates at the celebration and the Pilot Club will be selling delicious cakes and other homemade desserts.

Combs said no entries had been received so far for the Veterans Multimedia Contest and alternate ideas for the WWI program were discussed in the event a Plan B is needed.

The chairman brought up another item to the committee about an email he received about the Walk of Heroes War Memorial. He said the email requested information about Vietnam War casualties.

He noted that Herbert Gray and Wiley Jackson were on the database under Jones County but Erral Dale Smallwood was not. After researching further however, he found Smallwood actually lived in Putnam County and he was listed under that county.

The chairman said the inquiry was also about how WWII veterans had been honored in Jones County and he described presenting the veterans with Ruptured Duck pins that were a symbol of honorably discharged WWII veterans.

Combs said all the questions were part of the requirements to become a Purple Heart Community and he asked if the Veterans Committee would like to sponsor the effort. Committee members agreed by consensus.

Committee member Frank Duke said the flag drop box, which was donated by the city, had been placed in the lobby of the Government Center. He said Express Imaging made the sign for the box. He also said an outdoor drop box was donated to the committee by the Jones County Library Board of Trustees.

The next meeting of the Veterans Committee is scheduled Sept. 27 at 1:30 p.m.