by Randy Snyder
The 11/11/2019 commemoration held at the Rumbling Bald Resort Cemetery was awesome and it was a new benchmark with the town of Lake Lure and Rumbling Bald Resort collaborating on this event making it the best ever! The weather, always a concern for this outdoor event, cooperated in spectacular fashion with a crisp clear morning warming up to over 50 degrees and sun shining from the east on the crowd by the 9:30 am start time.
The national holiday, now 65 years old since President Eisenhower signed the proclamation officially changing the name from Armistice Day to Veteran’s day in 1954, continues to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice – over 600,000, of those vets still living – over 19,000,000, and those still actively serving – 1,300,000. Veterans Day celebrates the Armistice signed on 11/11/1918 marking the ending of World War I.
Patrick Bryant Lake Lure town Commissioner played Reveille, the official “wake up notice” of the military drawing the audience attention. Gary Wilson, FMFD fire chief welcomed the crowd with opening remarks. Pastor Everett Chapman of the Fairfield Mountains Chapel offered the invocation. The Rutherford County Color Guard with flawless precision presented the colors followed by a rendition of the National Anthem with Kathryn Cox leading the crowd in the singing of the Anthem. World War II veteran and local resident Duane Massman moved the beautiful wreath to the base of the flag. Gary Wilson mentioned local resident veterans that have recently passed, namely, Mr. Kurt Ellingson, an Army vet and Rolland King, a local legend and Army vet with several other deceased vets’ names called out from the attendees. Accordingly, Patrick Bryant played taps, always an emotional offering marking the end of the day’s activities in the military or the end of life at veterans’ ceremonies.
Gary Wilson asked all vets to step forward and gather in separate places depending on branch of service, followed by a medley of the familiar theme songs of each of the four branches of service. Approximately 40 vets assembled and were applauded by the crowd in appreciation of their service. Lake Lure, recently elected mayor, Mrs. Carol Pritchett was introduced and offered remarks about the significance of the event and the need for more active efforts to assist returning vets to make the transition to private life, serving on boards and finding employment locally. The Mayor was followed by Kathryn Cox signing the always favorite God Bless the USA to the delight of the attendees. Randy Snyder made comments about the history of the event, nationally and locally, the importance of collaboration between the town and the resort, thus the north and south side of the lake, all one Lake Lure address. Also recognized was Laura Krejci, Communications Specialist from the town of Lake Lure and the excellent promotion of her planning committee which included Gary Wilson and Steve Earnest from the resort. Others recognized for their contributions were Sheriff Chris Francis and the color guard. Randy introduced Jeff Geisler, General Manager of Rumbling Bald Resort thanking him for making the location of the event possible.
Mr. Geisler offered remarks relevant to the event and announced the buffet breakfast offered at the nearby Legends on the Lake Restaurant, complimentary to vets and their guests and a nominal $5 price for others. Reverend Chapman offered the benediction followed by Patrick Bryant playing the military ‘chow call’. Over 120 people moved to Legends to enjoy a wonderfully presented and prepared ‘military style’ breakfast.
The Vet’s day event in 2020 will be held at Bald Mountain Resort and the Memorial Day event May 25th will be held in the town at the Veteran’s Memorial across from the Lake Lure beach. Support these important events with your presence as we again bring the community together to recognize America’s heroes – our veterans!