Two events to honor veterans

COVINGTON -- Two ceremonies honoring veterans will take place in Newton County on Wednesday, Veterans Day.

Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2938 will hold a service at Lawnwood Cemetery on Access Road at 9:45 a.m. that will include a few short speeches by post members, the playing of "Taps" and a 21-gun salute.

The service will be over by shortly after 10 a.m. to give people time to make it to other events, said Post Commander Michael French.

"Everybody should thank a veteran for being a veteran, even if they were drafted or if they went in on their own," French said. "When I was in, we still had the draft. There were some draft dodgers ... and the ones that went in and did their duty like the good citizens they are. Myself, I think we ought to reinstate the draft because young people nowadays don't know what being in the military is about. If it weren't for the Revolutionary War veterans, right now we might be speaking with a British accent. If it were not for the veterans during World War I and World War II, we might be speaking with a German accent."

American Legion Post 32 will host its own Veterans Day ceremony at 11 a.m. on the Square in downtown Covington.

The keynote speaker will be veteran and post member Glenn Whitaker. There will be music and the laying of a wreath at the Veterans Monument in the Square park.

"The American Legion honors and appreciates all the veterans who have served and we just think they're a wonderful bunch of people," Post Commander Bobby Hamby said.

Veterans Day originated as Armistice Day on Nov. 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I.

In 1926, Congress passed a resolution for an annual observance and Nov. 11 became a national holiday in 1938.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed legislation in 1954 to change the name to Veterans Day as a way to honor those who served in all American wars.