To honor veterans each year, the Sandhills Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) hosts a Veterans Day ceremony in Moore County. The event is held at different churches in the area each year, in keeping with the Interdenominational spirit of MOAA. This year, First Baptist Church in Southern Pines was the host.
The event was limited to less than 100 in-person guests to observe social distancing guidelines. However, it was live-streamed to a wide audience.
Guest Speaker, Richard E. Allenbaugh, COL, USA Ret.
This year, the guest speaker was Richard E. Allenbaugh, COL, USA Ret. In his speech, he spoke of his father. Born in 1925, he was married right after his high school graduation.
Two days after their short honeymoon in 1943, he was drafted into the Navy and deployed to Guam in support of the Seabees.
Marine Corps League Sandhills Detachment #1001.
Part of what is known as the Greatest Generation, “they never questioned the responsibility to serve our nation,” he said. “Their sacrifices, no matter how difficult, were endured with a sense of purpose.”
Allenbaugh went on to remind the audience that citizenship is not free and that we all can provide service to our country.
Thomas Taylor leads the Pledge of Allegiance.
Participating were Peter McArthur (Bag Piper), Susan Ward (First Baptist Church Organist), COL Nick Christopher (Welcome), Dr. David Helems (Senior Minister First Baptist Church), Pinecrest High School JROTC (Presentation of Colors), Boy Scout Thomas Taylor (Pledge of Allegiance), and Chris Dunn (Taps).
Sandhills MOAA Chapter President, COL Nick Christopher, USA Ret.
Susan Ward, First Baptist Church Organist.
Feature photo: Pinecrest High School JROTC presents the colors. Left to right, Ian Howell (Lead Gunner), Alexandria Driscoll (Commander), Jeremiah Bethune and Jesse Vences.
~Article and photos by Sandhills Sentinel Reporter John Patota.