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The centennial celebration of the World War I armistice will be observed at Wilson’s annual Veterans Day program on Sunday.
“We want our veterans and our current members of the military to know that Wilson appreciates their service and their sacrifices are not forgotten,” said Ray Chambers, chairman of the Wilson Committee on Patriotism.
The event will kick off at 2 p.m. at the Wilson County Courthouse and include Junior ROTC cadets from Fike, Hunt and Beddingfield high schools. Torry Winston from Wilson Chapel Free Will Baptist Church will sing the national anthem while Wilson Times Co. CEO Morgan Dickerman III will give the keynote speech.
“I just thought the hundredth anniversary of World War I should not go unnoticed,” Dickerman said. “We had Wilsonians who served and gave their lives, so we should commemorate their service and sacrifice for our country.”
Chambers said Dickerman’s passion about the armistice is clear.
“World War I was supposed to be the war to end all wars, but unfortunately that didn’t happen,” he said. “Morgan is very passionate about Wilson’s involvement in World War I and honoring veterans and their service to the country.”
The event is open to all ages and Chambers said he hoped including groups like the New Hope Elementary chorus in the program will instill patriotism in younger generations, possibly prompting some to serve through the military or in other capacities such as in fire and police departments.
“Less than 1 percent of U.S. citizens serve in the military and we are at war now, but less than 1 percent of the population is involved in fighting that war,” Chambers said. “We really have to show our veterans that we appreciate the 1 percent that is defending our freedoms and defending our standing in the world.”