Harlan County is gearing up to honor the area’s veterans with special programs taking place at the Harlan Courthouse and Southeast Kentucky Community & Technical College on Veterans Day. Lunch will be available for veterans at the Harlan Depot and the Cumberland Senior Center, courtesy of the Harlan Fiscal Court, Don’s Supersaver and Fuelco.
Activities will kick off simultaneously at 11 a.m. at the Harlan County Courthouse and SKCTC in Cumberland.
Harlan County Judge-Executive Dan Mosley discussed the yearly event, explaining the purpose is to show appreciation to veterans.
“The Harlan Honor Guard always does a program in front of the courthouse on Veterans Day,” Mosley said. “We encourage everyone to come out for that…it’s really something special.”
Mosley mentioned he has spoken at the event in the past.
“It’s a great program,” Mosley said. “I had the privilege last year of speaking, and of all the events I’ve spoken at in my life, I would consider that one of the top honors. It was humbling to be allowed to address a group like that.”
All veterans are also invited to lunch after the Harlan and Cumberland programs.
“Two local businessmen, Don Parsons and Rayburn Doss, have come together and are sponsoring a dinner for veterans after the program at 11:30 a.m. at the Harlan Depot and in Cumberland at the Senior Citizen’s Center,” Mosley said. “These men and women that served in the armed forces deserve the most recognition of anyone in this country. They put their lives on the line so that we can enjoy the freedoms we enjoy on a daily basis. We don’t need to take them for granted. They are heroes, and I’m happy to see them being honored for their service.”
According to Mosley, Harlan County’s men and women have always been quick to serve their country when called upon.
Loyall American Legion Commander David Witt also serves as commander of the Harlan Honor Guard.
“The American Legion has been putting on a ‘Last Rights” program at the courthouse for 50 plus years,” said Witt. “The Honor Guard has stepped in for the past eight or 10 years because the American Legion couldn’t do it anymore.”
Witt said the program will include many of the aspects of a military funeral, including the playing of Taps, a flag-folding ceremony, multiple speakers and a 21-gun salute.
“Basically, it will be about the history of the military in Harlan County,” said Witt.
Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-909-4132 or on Twitter @joe_hde