Anson County residents honored their veterans during a ceremony at the courthouse steps on Nov. 10.
Sgt. 1st Class Joyce Davenport served as the speaker and called on the crowd to continue to remember their veterans, but to discern it from Memorial Day.
Davenport spent 26 years in the Army, retiring in 2007. She then worked as a letter carrier and now serves as a JROTC instructor.
The ceremony was held a day before Veterans Day, but Davenport reflected on the importance of Nov. 11.
“It marks the day World War I was over, in the eleventh hour of eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918,” she said. “In 1921, the Unknown Soldier was buried. On Nov. 11, a wreath was laid on a grave during the ceremony.”
She stressed the importance of remembering the sacrifice of soldiers, saying that enlisting is “handing a blank check to the United States government worth up to their life.”
“We are a better nation because of their service,” Davenport said.
Magistrate Joshua Leviner spoke on behalf of Wadesboro police Chief Thedis Spencer, who was unable to attend. Leviner served soon after 9/11. He recalled his homesickness after he enlisted, especially when he was in California while his family celebrated Thanksgiving at home.
“Mom had to get off the phone because Grandma’s biscuits were coming out of the oven,” he said. “I got to admit, I started crying like a little baby.”
He thanked all veterans.
“Thank you for serving with the hearts of kings and leading with the hearts of servants,” he said.
Superintendent Michael Freeman and students representing every school in the county participated in the service. The Anson County High School band played and the Anson Middle School cheerleaders also participated.
Students with Anson Challenge Academy performed “Battlefield,” followed by Youth Career Connection students reciting patriotic poems and folding the flag. Students then lined up to shake the hand of each veteran present and give them small gifts.
Veterans were given a special seating area during the service. Most represented Anson County towns, though Rep. Mark Brody was also in attendance and among those honored. Brody served in the U.S. Navy Reserve from 1985-1993 as a Petty Officer 2nd Class and mess management specialist and was honorably discharged. He was honored as the “Sailor of the Year” for the Mobile Inshore and Undersea Warfare Unit, according to his daughter and legislative assistance, Neva Helms.
Reach reporter Imari Scarbrough at 704-994-5471 and follow her on Twitter @ImariScarbrough.
Veterans were given a special seating area at the ceremony, rising when their town was called.
Veterans watch as high school students sing, recite poems and fold the United States flag.
Students fold the country’s flag while their peers recite patriotic poems.