Admiral (Ret.) Kent Davis, commissioner of the Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs, will be the keynote speaker at the annual Enterprise Veterans Tribute Ceremony, set for this Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Civic Center.
The ceremony is one of three traditional events paying tribute to Enterprise area veterans during the week of the Nov. 11 Veterans Day observance. The first will be the Wreath-Laying Ceremony at 5 p.m. on Monday Monday. A memorial wreath will be laid at the Wall of Freedom, Enterprise Recreation complex, to honor fallen heroes. Lt. Col. Edward Adams, commander of the City of Enterprise Partnership Unit, the 1st Battalion, 212th Aviation Regiment, will be the guest speaker at the wreath-laying.
A Parade of Veterans will allow the community to come out in force to wave flags and cheer on local veterans at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 9, on East College Street.
Mayor William E. Cooper and members of the Enterprise Veterans Tribute Events Committee encourage all veterans to attend the events to show the deep sense of patriotism for which Enterprise is known.
Enterprise and Coffee County has a significant veteran population and share a close association with neighboring Fort Rucker.
“This is a most meaningful and special time of year every year because our veterans mean so much to us and to our community,” Cooper said. “We hope everyone will come out and bring a veteran with you so we can publicly honor their service.”
Cooper said the city is extremely pleased to have commissioner Davis speak at the tribute ceremony Tuesday night. “We look forward to hearing about his perspective as a veteran,” the mayor said. “In his leadership role in the State Department of Veterans Affairs, he has great insight into what it means to be a veteran in today’s world.”
He is also expected to share a brief update on construction of the newest ADVA long-term health care facility for veterans, which will be located in Enterprise.
Ground is expected to be broken on the site early in 2022.
All veterans at the ceremony will be recognized. All nominees for Veteran of the Year and the Active Service Member of the Year will honored as well, and the selections will be announced.
An updated version of the “Faces of Freedom” video will be shown, featuring photos of about 200 living and deceased veterans, and active duty members. The city is attempting to put together a record of those in the area who have served their country.
You may submit a current photo and/or a photo(s) of the veteran in uniform during his or her time of service. Please include information about which Branch of Service in which the veteran served and the dates of service if possible, and any other information you consider important to this project. You can also drop off the photos and information at the Mayor’s Office in City Hall through the end of the day Wednesday, Nov. 3. Please do not submit original photos, but rather a digital copy or a printed copy of the photos.
The Enterprise JROTC will present the poignant POW-MIA table ceremony during the Tuesday night event, and Leah Lancaster will perform patriotic songs.
The Veterans Tribute Ceremony is sponsored annually by the City of Enterprise. The Veterans Tribute Events Committee is led this year by Chairman Mike Sutterfield and includes commanders and members of the local veterans service organizations, including VFW Chapter 6683 Commander Randy Black, American Legion Chapter 73 Commander Buddy Keen, Disabled American Veteran Chapter 9 Commander Tom Ferguson and Military Order of the Purple Heart Chapter 2216 Commander Robert Green.
Sutterfield said the committee has been working hard this year to revive the Veterans parade, which has been cancelled the past three years because of rain and the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We really hope that we have lots of veterans come and participate in the walking parade,” he said. “If you can’t walk, please feel free to bring your wheelchairs or scooters. If you need further help, let us know and we’ll escort you by golf cart. We will have people to assist you,” he said.
Sutterfield also invites families, friends and community members to come out and line the streets to wave flags and cheer on the veterans.
The annual wreath-laying ceremony, led by the DAV Chapter 9, will not only feature Adams as the guest speaker. Singer Josh Buckley will perform the National Anthem.
For more information, contact Special Projects Coordinator Kay Kirkland at 334-348-2310 or firstname.lastname@example.org.