The Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce will host an event today honoring area military service members and their families.
The chamber's annual Military Appreciation Day will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Laurel Bay. Active, reserve and retired military personnel and their families are invited to come to the park for free hot dogs and hamburgers, carnival games, and live music, according to the chamber.
Blakely Williams, chamber president and CEO, said hosting the event seemed the least area business leaders and others could do for local active-duty, reserve and retired service members and their families.
"Beaufort would not be the community it is without their presence in our businesses, schools, churches, and throughout the community," Williams said. "Beaufort has been nationally recognized as one of the most military-friendly communities in the country as well as one of the best places to live. We take great pride in both of those designations, and it is truly our honor to share our beautiful corner of the world with those who serve and protect our freedom."
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The event will feature a short ceremony at noon to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Military Appreciation Day traditionally had been held in May but was postponed until September in 2009 because it fell on the same weekend as the Beaufort Air Show, according to the chamber.
Williams said organizers felt the anniversary of the terrorist attacks provided a more poignant backdrop for the event.
"September 11 defined who we are as a country," Williams said. "Locally, we all feel a renewed sense of patriotism that's carried over into support for our own military service members and families."
Follow reporter Patrick Donohue at twitter.com/OnBaseBeaufort.