Lees-McRae honors veterans during special ceremony

Students, faculty, staff, and community members gathered at the Lees-McRae Veterans Memorial for a special Veterans Day Ceremony on Thursday, Nov. 11.

The service started at 11 a.m. with a color guard procession by Campus Police Chief David Searcy and Officer Brandon Greer. The two raised a United States flag flown at the United States National Support Element in Kabul as part of Operation Enduring Freedom in the Global War on Terrorism. The flag flew in honor of Lees-McRae and was presented by Lieutenant Colonel L. Patrice Moore in January 2009.

Attendees then said the Pledge of Allegiance before student Isaac Lafunor sang the National Anthem. The Rev. Ted Henry followed with an invocation before President Lee King addressed the crowd.

“We count veterans among our students, faculty, staff, trustees, alumni, and members of the local community,” King said. “As the president of the college, I want you to know how grateful I am and how grateful we are for your service.”

Henry returned to the podium to present a brief history of Veterans Day before King honored veterans connected to the institution. As King called their names, each veteran in attendance stood and received a red carnation.

“I’m glad that we are a community that respects our veterans, honors them, and values their service to our nation,” King said. “I’m especially happy that we can celebrate our veterans who are part of our community here at Lees-McRae, in Banner Elk, and in the High Country.”

After reading the names of more than a dozen veterans, King gave closing remarks before attendees departed as “To the Colors Retreat” played over the speakers.

“Veterans, thank you for keeping us strong and free,” King said. “Please leave here today thanking them for their service and sacrifice but most importantly, listen to their example. Love our country. Never stop loving our country.”

By Cory SpiersNovember 11, 2021