By Jan Boston Sellers
There are three groups of people for whom I have a particular fondness: police officers, firefighters and military personnel. Each of these categories involve high risk and often, unfortunately, minimal pay. They are the ones, reminiscent of scenes such as Sept. 11, 2001, running into the fire and mayhem as the rest of the world is fleeing from it.
I was driving into work a couple of days ago when I ended up at a traffic light behind a vehicle with an interesting bumper sticker. It read “America… land of the free because of the brave.” I really like that slogan and found it very timely with Veterans Day coming this weekend.
Sunday is Veterans Day, which means we are able to celebrate those in various branches of armed forces, now and in the past, who are or did fight for our freedom. At least one of those freedoms — the freedom to vote for our country’s leader —was exercised this week as Americans everywhere turned out to vote in the 2012 presidential election.
The Veterans Day holiday came about as a result of the temporary cessation of hostilities between the Allied nations and Germany. Originally known as Armistice Day, the holiday was first celebrated Nov. 11, 1918. It was designed to commemorate the heroism of those who died in the country’s service. The original template for Veterans Day included a day filled with local parades, public meetings and honorariums and suspension of business. Armistice Day eventually became known and Veterans Day.
Veterans Day will be celebrated locally with observances and speeches at Veterans Memorial Park across from the courthouse on Saturday from 11 a.m. until noon. Most federal offices such as banks and the post office will be closed on Monday in honor of Veterans Day since it fell on a Sunday. The Cumberland County Courthouse will also close on Monday in observance of this fall holiday.
Also in conjunction with Veterans Day is the USO Show. It is scheduled for Sunday at the Palace Theatre. The variety show will feature local performers portraying vocal stars, comedians and radio personalities. “Bob Hope” will be the show’s host. He is being played by Panama Jack from 102.5 Wow Country. Other guest performers will include Brenda Frye of the Cumberland County Playhouse (CCP); D.J. Garrison as Bobby Darin and Elvis; Greg and Lindy Pendzick of CCP; Terri Utsey as Betty Hutton; The Relics, aka Terry Ashburn and Marty Gibson; Regina Stephens and Rusty McClanahan; Tony Zarola; Aaron Ingram and Matt Page; and Ray Brigance.
The USO show is sponsored by the Crab-Orchard Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Tickets are $12. Show times are 2 and 6 p.m. Visit the Palace Theatre’s website at www.palacetheatre-crossville.com for ticket availability.