The pageantry of local marching bands, along with honor and color guards, will converge with solemn remarks and remembrances Saturday as Mount Airy holds its annual Veterans Day observance.
It will include a parade through the downtown area, leading to a program at the city war memorial on the corner of South Main and Rockford streets featuring a gun salute and other activities.
Dr. David Shockley, the president of Surry Community College, who is a military veteran, is the guest speaker for the program.
Hundreds of people, many veterans among them, typically attend the annual gathering in Mount Airy to pay tribute to military personnel for their service to the country.
Entries in Saturday’s parade will include the marching bands of North Surry and Surry Central high schools, the North Surry Color Guard and the American Legion Honor Guard, according to Herb Joyce, the latter group’s chaplain.
Fire department, rescue squad and other emergency vehicles also will be part of the procession in addition to small novelty vehicles that tend to be a crowd favorite.
The motorized units of the parade will gather at Veterans Memorial Park and leave there at 11 a.m. Saturday, Joyce said. They will be joined by the marching bands and other walking units at BB&T on North Main Street.
Joyce guessed that the procession will arrive in the downtown area around 11:30 a.m.
Program At Monument
The parade is to end near the Mount Airy War Memorial, where special remarks and activities are planned Saturday beginning at noon.
Kelly Epperson has been tapped to continue his ongoing role as master of ceremonies for the program, which will include welcoming remarks by Mayor Deborah Cochran.
Joyce, the American Legion Honor Guard chaplain, will deliver the invocation.
Mike Thorpe, former commander of the local American Legion, then will lead the Pledge of Allegiance.
Next on the program schedule is the recognition of commanders of local military and auxiliary organizations by Epperson.
Shockley, the SCC president and keynote speaker, then will offer his remarks. Shockley is a former member of the U.S. Marines who served as a combat engineer specializing in demolitions.
A wreath-laying at the memorial, which lists the names of Surry County’s war dead, will be lead by Nolan Boyles and Mayor Cochran.
After that, a flag-folding ceremony by North Surry High School JROTC representatives is scheduled.
The national anthem then will be rendered by the Tri-M Music Honors Chorus of Mount Airy High School.
North Surry JROTC representatives were tapped to help conclude Saturday’s program with the raising of the flag, preceding a gun salute and the playing of “Taps” by the American Legion Post 123 Honor Guard.
The weather is expected to cooperate Saturday, with mostly clear skies forecast.
Reach Tom Joyce at 719-1924 or email@example.com.