The service of more than 19,000 veterans living in Beaufort County will be honored with three events Monday.
The county's annual Veterans Day parade will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the Beaufort National Cemetery on Rogers Street, following the traditional route to Bay Street before returning to the cemetery, county spokeswoman Joy Nelson said.
A patriotic-themed 2011 Dodge Challenger purchased by the Beaufort Police Department will be the lead vehicle in the parade, Chief Matt Clancy said. The car, which will be used by the school resource officer at Lady's Island Middle School, features American flag-inspired stripes on the hood and sides.
The parade will be followed by an 11 a.m. ceremony at the cemetery. Lt. Col. Patrick Fitzgerald, executive officer at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, will be the keynote speaker.
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On Hilton Head Island, a Veterans Day observance is planned for 10 a.m. at the Veterans Memorial in Shelter Cove Community Park. The event is sponsored by the Hilton Head Island Military Veterans Coalition and hosted by American Legion Post 185.
U.S. Naval Academy history professor Mary DeCredico will be the event's keynote speaker. A rifle salute by Fort Stewart's 1st Brigade, 3rd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment is planned. Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island's Marine Band and the Hilton Head High School Navy Junior ROTC also will attend.
A luncheon will follow the Hilton Head ceremony at the Oceanfront Omni Resort in Palmetto Dunes, featuring live music from The Headliners. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 843-681-4960. The luncheon costs $25.
Sun City Hilton Head will hold a Veterans Day ceremony at 10 a.m. in the Pinckney Hall parking lot on Sun City Lane, communications director Hallie Martin said. The event will honor World War II veterans, and the Bluffton High School Army Junior ROTC and the Sun City Veterans Association color guard will attend.
Martin said a keynote speaker had yet to be determined, but would be someone from the 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Stewart.
Monday's events will mark the 94th observance of Veterans Day. President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Nov. 11 as "Armistice Day" in 1919, honoring World War I veterans on the one-year anniversary of the armistice signed with Germany to end fighting and the war.
Armistice Day was made a legal holiday in May 1938, and its name was changed to Veterans Day in 1954 to honor military veterans of all wars and conflicts.
Follow reporter Matt McNab at twitter.com/IPBG_Matt.