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Veterans Day ceremony set for Nov. 12 in Aiken

November 9, 2018

The traditional Nov. 11 date for Veterans Day falls on a Sunday this year.

But in Aiken, the Marine Corps League’s James L. Hammons Detachment No. 939 will wait until Nov. 12 to hold its ceremony to honor the men and women who have served this country in the Armed Forces.

“We don’t want to drag people out of church,” said the Detachment’s commandant, Larry Frelin, of the decision to delay the event.

The ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. at Aiken County Veterans Memorial Park.

Linda Caldwell, a Vietnam War veteran who was a captain in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps, will be the keynote speaker.

Last year, she was the “first lady” in Aiken’s Memorial Day Parade while Walter Chelchowski and his son, Dick Chelchowski, served as the grand marshals.

Caldwell also is a past president of the Aiken Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America.

“She is a outstanding individual, and she has actually seen the effects of combat firsthand,” Frelin said.

In addition, Frelin and S.C. Rep. Bill Taylor, R-Aiken, will speak during the Veterans Day ceremony.

Joe Featherson, the Hammons Detachment’s judge advocate, will serve as the narrator.

Students in South Aiken High School’s NJROTC program will present the colors.

Under the direction of Barb Rollins, members of the AAA Homeschool Band, South Aiken Baptist Christian School Band and The Rollins’ Christian Big Band will perform patriotic music.

More than 100 chairs will be set up for the ceremony’s attendees, but “if someone has a comfy chair they would prefer to sit in, they are welcome to bring it,” Frelin said.

Veterans Memorial Park is at 1435 Richland Ave. E.

Want to go?

WHAT: Veterans Day ceremony

WHEN: 11 a.m. Monday, Nov. 12

WHERE: Aiken County Veterans Memorial Park, 1435 Richland Ave. E.

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