HONORING OUR VETERANS ~ In Appreciation of our Veterans
Downtown Vidalia Association “Main Street” Executive Director, Paula Toole presents HONORING OUR VETERANS ~ Best Downtown Special Event.
Hosted by the Downtown Vidalia Association “Main Street”, the highly anticipated event has become a place where the men and women share a common bond, and where the community can come together in one place to thank them for their service.
Paying Tribute to Those Who Served
On Veterans Day, Army, Navy, Air Force. Marines, Coast Guard…from World War II to Operation Iraqi Freedom, men and women who have served their country are honored guests of the annual Veteran’s Day luncheon.
The ceremony opens on a solemn note, with Tim Beinke, Boilerman 1st Class, U.S. Navy, directing attention to the REMEMBERANCE TABLE. The table in the front of the room is laid out with a single upturned chair, a single plate, and a single rose. This small table, set for one, is our way of symbolizing the fact that members of our community are missing from our midst and so we remember them in this way.
When the Navy veteran completes his remarks, a trumpeter plays a lonely sound “Taps”, while many in the audience wipe tears from their eyes. At the close of our keynote address, each Veteran is asked to stand and announce his branch of service ~ he or she is presented an American flag or special gift by a member of the Sweet Onion Service Unit of the Girl Scouts, provided by downtown merchants.
The event has become a yearly tradition of the Downtown Vidalia Association and DVA Executive Director Paula Toole contributes the repeated success to the support of the community, businesses and organizations that continue to assist in promoting it.
HONORING OUR VETERANS is made possible through contributions ~ Vidalia Masonic Lodge, Harvey’s Supermarket of Vidalia, numerous clubs; local citizens and volunteers throughout the community who have joined together to make this a memorable celebration for our VETERANS.
In addition to a special program with a Keynote Speaker, a patriotic musical tribute is planned. The American Legion Posts #97 & #313, American Legion Ladies, DAR of Vidalia, Vidalia Woman’s Club, ABWA, The Garden Clubs, as well as the Sweet Onion Service Unit.
Honoring Our Veterans was organized in 1995 when the VETERANS were invited to a picnic in the downtown Meadows Street Park for a brief program. We began with 50-75 in attendance; at this time the event was totally funded by Downtown Vidalia Association “Main Street”. As the years passed the event began to grow and inside accommodations were needed. In 2001, the Vidalia 1st UMC volunteered their activity center to accommodate the needs.