To Our Veterans, With Thanks

Leon Bagwell of Garner has a lot to be proud of on Veterans Day, and every day.

A World War II Navy veteran, he took part in seven separate invasions during the war, amid much hardship. Today, at age 87, he proudly wears his Navy cap and gratefully acknowledges the thanks of strangers who often stop to note his role in protecting the freedoms of our nation.

Bagwell and others will be honored at a Veterans Day Celebration in Garner tomorrow, Friday, Nov. 11 at 10:30 a.m., at Aversboro Road Baptist Church, located at 1600 Aversboro Road.

The Garner Veterans Committee and Town of Garner are event sponsors, joining local VFW and American Legion posts, veterans’ families and civic and community leaders in recognizing those who have served, and are serving, our country in the military at home and abroad.

Speaker for the event is Brig. Gen. Elizabeth D. Austin of Willow Spring, the North Carolina National Guard’s first female general.

The Garner Magnet High School Symphonic Band will perform a mini-patriotic concert to kick off the celebration. Others scheduled to participate are Garner resident and former Miss North Carolina Dana Stephenson; the First Baptist Church of Garner Men’s Quartet; local Scout troops; and the 340th Psychological Operations Company, which will post the colors.

Also, the Garner Veterans Memorial project is on target for completion by Veterans Day 2012. The memorial, to be situated at Lake Benson Park, will honor past, present and future veterans, and include a “walkway of honor” composed of bricks purchased in honor of veterans. The bricks are expected to go on sale in early 2012.

For more information on the memorial project, and to read Bagwell’s inspiring story from the Triangle East section of the November/December issue of Cary Magazine, click here.

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