COLUMBIA, S.C. — Veterans Day, Nov. 11, is a federal holiday to honor military veterans of the US Armed Services.
In communities throughout South Carolina, there will be parades and prayer services honoring those who served their country. Here is a list of happenings, beginning this weekend:
SC Guard Army Aviation Heritage Celebration is in its 75th year. SC Guard Army Aviation veterans, spouses, and invited guests can join the fun 6-10 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4, at McEntire Joint National Guard Base in Hopkins. Hosted by Miss Liberty Belle, the SC Army Aviation Heritage Foundation, and the Jimmy Doolittle Chapter (AAAA), the 40s-themed event will feature a dance at the hangar, dinner, cocktails, a photo booth, and a display of helicopters and warbirds. Tickets are available through Eventbrite.
City of West Columbia's 2nd Annual Veterans Day Celebration at 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, at Ebenezer Pentecostal Holiness Church, 501 Church St. This free event will feature special guest speakers, Soldiers of Faith Singers, exhibitors, and a presentation of the Quilts of Valor.
Lexington County Veterans Parade in downtown Lexington, Sunday, Nov. 6. Parade will start at 3 p.m., using the route of Haywood Street to West Main Street to South Lake Drive to Fort Street. Recommended viewing spot is along West Main to the Lexington County Veterans Memorial on South Lake Drive, near Virginia Hylton Park.
Attendees and those in the area around the parade route should note that street closings and detours will begin in downtown Lexington at 1 p.m. with the closure of West Butler Street, from Columbia Avenue to North Church Street, along with Haygood Street and part of Meetze Street, to allow those involved in the parade to stage and prepare their floats. At 2:45 p.m., West Main Street, from Columbia Avenue to North Lake Drive, along with South Lake Drive to Fort Street, will close and all traffic will be detoured around the parade route until the event is complete. West Main Street and South Lake Drive will be reopened by approximately 4:30 p.m. All other roads will remain closed until all parade floats and participants are clear from the roadway.
Public parking lots include the Town of Lexington Municipal Complex, grass parking lots on South Church Street, the County of Lexington Administration Building, and the Lexington County Courthouse parking lots.
Columbia International University will salute veterans in a special service in Shortess Chapel at 11 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 10. The CIU student body and veterans will hear from CIU alumnus and retired senior military officer Dr. Tom Mullikin. Mullikin served as Special Assistant to the Chief Prosecutor of Military Commissions, overseeing the trial of Khalid Sheik Mohammed and the four 9/11 co-defendants; and as an International Legal Officer and Trial Counsel with the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General Corps. He retired from military service in 2018 as major general / commander of the S.C. State Guard and President of the State Guard Association of the United States.
Sumter County Veterans Day Parade, 10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 11, begins at the intersection of West Bartlette Street and proceeds north to Calhoun Street, turning east on Calhoun and south on Harvin Street, ending behind the Sumter County Courthouse. There will be an official ceremony at 11 a.m. on the Courthouse's front lawn, 141 North Main Street.
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 Sergeant 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.
- A keynote address by the Commanding General of U.S. Army Central (USARCENT), Lieutenant General Patrick D. Frank (“Lucky 6”).
Tours of the Sumter Military Museum, at 129 North Harvin, will be held 1-4 p.m.
City of Columbia Veterans Day Parade at 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 11. The parade will begin at the intersection of Sumter and Laurel streets and travel southbound on Sumter, ending at Pendleton Street near the State House. This year's grand marshals will be representatives from the Women Veterans of SC and the USC Military & Veterans Program.
Fairfield County is hosting a luncheon for all who served at 11:30 a.m. Friday, Nov. 11, at the Gymnasium of the new County Administration building, 250 N Walnut St., Winnsboro.
Town of Blythewood hosts its 2022 Veterans Day Celebration 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 12, at Doko Meadows Park. The formal program begins at 2 p.m. Events include a Quilt of Valor presentation, military exhibits and miniatures, American Heritage Foundation, SC Military Museum, Patriot Guard Motorcycles and Military Vehicle Collectors of SC, The Big Red Barn, and Purple Heart Town.