Celebrating Veterans Day will be no problem for Dunn residents this Sunday as three different ceremonies will take place in the span of just a few hours.
Things will get underway when the annual tribute to the fighting men and women of our country takes place at Tyler Park, 201 N. General William C. Lee Ave.
At 2 p.m., Dunn Mayor Oscar Harris, who also serves as commander of American Legion Post 59, will open the annual remembrance which this year features keynote speaker Patricia Harris of Raleigh.
She is the first woman veteran to serve as state commanders of The American Legion in North Carolina. Elected in 2013, she became the 98th department commander of its 95th year and a dual member of the American Legion Auxiliary.
Ms. Harris is a disabled, retired U.S. Army, Persian Gulf Combat War combat veteran. She also founded the Women Veterans Support Services Inc. The organization is an all volunteer, nonprofit group based in Raleigh which specializes in crisis management with homeless or in-crisis women veterans and special cases of male parent veterans with daughters, which provides services statewide and beyond.
Ms. Harris was recently appointed as commissioner to the North Carolina Military Affairs Commission by Gov. Roy Cooper and received the Order of The Long Leaf Pine from Gov. Pat McCrory in 2013.
The event is hosted by American Legion Post 59 and the General William C. Lee Memorial Commission. The theme is “A Grateful Nation Remembers.”
“Then we’re going to head over to Greenwood Cemetery. This is the celebration of the ending of World War I and Lee James Best Sr., he’s our first commander of American Legion Post 59,” Mayor Harris said.
This is the 100th anniversary of the signing of the armistice that ended WWI and the 3:15 p.m. ceremony at Greenwood Cemetery is celebrating that.
Col. Best was a Dunn native and lawyer by profession. He served in both WWI and WWII. He served for 27 years and retired June 29, 1948.
Mayor Harris noted Col. Best served in the era of Gen. William C. Lee, who also was a commander in both great wars.
American Legion Post 59 is hosting the event at Greenwood which will take place at the grave site of Col. Best where a wreath will be laid.
The list of American Legion Post 59 commanders will be read in their order of service as well as those locals who lost their lives in WWI.
American Legion Post 59 will celebrate 100 years next year, said Mayor Harris. The Dunn post was founded the same year the international American Legion was formed
Immediately following, there will be another celebration at Hood Memorial Christian Church at 4 p.m. The church is located at 300 E. Cumberland St. There will be singing, patriotic music and a rifle salute included in the ceremony.
“As mayor of the City of Dunn and as commander of the American Legion Post 59, I encourage all citizens to attend as many events as possible this weekend as we celebrate Veterans Day Sunday in Dunn and Monday in Lillington, honoring all veterans, past, present and future. In addition, American Legion Post 59 will be honoring the legacy of its first commander, Col. Lee James Best Sr. in celebrating the 100th anniversary of the ending of WWI,” Mayor Harris said.