Retired US Air Force Lt. Col. Robert Dannacher will be the keynote speaker Thursday for the 2010 Veteran's Day community service program, held at the Emma Kelly Theater inside the Averitt Center for the Arts.
The program begins at 11 a.m., with an opening ceremony by Ray Hendrix of American Legion Dexter Allen Post 90, said Dan Foglio, post commander. The annual Veteran's Day program is sponsored by the Dexter Allen Post in conjunction with the Averitt Center.
The program will be preceded by patriotic music beginning at 10:30 a.m., he said.
Since opening its doors in 2004, the Emma Kelly Theater has been the home of the annual community observance of Veteran's Day. The late Dr. Kemp Mabry saw an opportunity for a place to bring the community together for the annual observance of Veterans Day, said arts center director Tim Chapman.
"We are pleased to be able to offer this free service to our community," Chapman said. "It's part of our mission as a non-profit community arts agency, to be able to provide this kind of exposure to members of our community."
Veterans Day is traditionally celebrated on Armistice Day, commemorating the symbolic end of World War I on November 11, 1918. It is called Armistice Day to connote the armistice signed between the Allies and Germany, which took effect at 11 o'clock in the morning, hence the "11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month."
In 1919 President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Nov. 11 as Armistice Day with the following words: "To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country's service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations..."
Post chaplain Charlie Williams will offer the opening prayer, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance by Jimmie Alderman. Bill Coen of First Baptist Church will perform the National Anthem, followed by an introduction and salute by Foglio.
Local artist Roxie Remley and Burton "Hawkeye" Higgins will share memories from World War II, the Statesboro Arts Council President Dawn Oliver will welcome guests, Foglio said.
Jan Anderson will speak with a Veteran's Day message from the Archibald Bulloch Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, then American Legion member Joe Bill Brannon will introduce Dannacher, a Statesboro resident.
Dannacher's message will include patriotic tributes to all veterans and memories of his service. After a closing prayer, the audience will join in singing "God Bless America," he said.
After the ceremony, Foglio reminds veterans to see him for a ticket for a free meal at RJ's Seafood and Steaks, a tradition that began a few years ago in order to honor veterans, he said.
The program is also sponsored by Joiner-Anderson Funeral Home and Chick-Fil-A of Statesboro.
Holli Deal Bragg maybe reached at (912) 489-9414.