Florentines Gather To Celebrate Veterans Day, Dedicate WWII Monument

Several hundred people turned out Friday for Florence’s Veterans Day ceremony in the Florence Veterans Park — something that wasn’t a given based on Thursday’s weather forecast.

Under threatening skies that never amounted to anything but a few sprinkles early on, the ceremony was kept at a brisk pace by master of ceremonies Col. (R) Barry Wingard as he worked his way toward the end of the event where traditionally a new monument at the park is unveiled and dedicated.

Not to disappoint this year two monuments — one stone and the other living — were dedicated.

Thursday, two oak trees with ties to Belleau Wood, France, were planted at the WWI monument by the U.S. Marine Corps League. The trees, grown from acorns from the oak trees at the battlefield, are being planted across the U.S. after getting their start to life at N.C. State University.

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