Veterans Day events will be held in Sumter, Lee, Clarendon


Veterans Day originated as "Armistice Day" on Nov. 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I. Congress passed a resolution in 1926 making it an annual observance, and it became a national holiday in 1938.

Sixteen years later, then-President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed legislation changing the name to Veterans Day to honor all those who served their country during war or peacetime. On this day, the nation honors military veterans - living and dead - with parades and other observances across the country and a ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

Sumter's Veterans Day parade is canceled because of inclement weather from Tropical Storm Nicole today. Sumter County Veterans Affairs Director Valerie Brunson said the ceremony will be indoors at the American Legion Post 15, 28 Artillery Drive. It will begin at 11 a.m.

This year's ceremony includes: Posting of the Colors by the Crestwood High School Air Force Jr. ROTC; performance by Shaw Air Force Base Staff Sgt. Jeannie Toro; a 21-gun salute and taps performance by Shaw Air Force Base Honor Guard; a tribute to POW/MIAs; a special service recognition of 30 local veterans; and a keynote address by the commanding general of U.S. Army Central, Lt. Gen. Patrick Frank.

Brunson said the scheduled meet and greet that followed the ceremony was also canceled. However, community members can still take tours of the Sumter Military Museum, 129 N. Harvin St. from 2 to 4 p.m. All activities are free.

In Clarendon, a wreath-laying ceremony will be held at the Clarendon County Courthouse at 11 a.m. in Manning, 3 Keitt St.

All active, inactive and retired military personnel and families are invited to celebrate Veterans Day with the Lee County Veterans Museum.

In 2021, Tia Baldwin with the Veterans Affairs Office transferred from the Sumter location to the Lee County location and wanted to do something to recognize Lee veterans and thank them for their service to the country.

On Nov. 11, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the museum at West Cedar Lane, there will be a complimentary grab bag lunch for Veterans Day.

The Lee County Veterans Affairs Office, American Legion Post 29 with the Ladies Auxiliary and VFW Post 3096 will cook barbecue chicken and more for lunch.

Though lunch can be picked up, "they can also come sit and dine with us too - to catch up and meet new people if they want. It's a celebration for them," Baldwin said.