By Nathan Ham
Veterans across the High Country will be honored during numerous Veterans Day celebrations, kicking off Friday morning at Parkway Elementary School. The celebration at 8:30 at the school is open to the public and is always one of the largest Veterans Day events that the Watauga County School System organizes.
Appalachian State University will begin its Veterans Day tribute at 9 a.m. at the B.B. Dougherty Administration Building Veterans Memorial. This event, as are all of these events, is free and open to the public.
Remarks will be provided by App State alumnus and retired U.S. Army Maj. Ali Donnell Davis ’95 ’01. A reception will follow in the administration building lobby. In case of adverse weather, the ceremony will be moved to the lobby.
Maj. Ali Donnell Davis, of Charlotte, joined the U.S. Army Reserve in 1989.
Throughout his military career, Davis held numerous posts, including rank one corps protection chemical officer and assistant chief of operations at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington. He also served in several posts at North Carolina’s Fort Bragg, including battalion chemical officer, platoon leader, company executive officer, brigade chemical officer, company commander and Army field service battalion executive officer.
Additionally, Davis served as assistant professor of military science and recruiting officer at the University of California, Berkeley. He has deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
He retired in 2016 after more than 20 years of service to the U.S. Army and Army Reserve. Among his nearly two dozen awards and decorations are two Bronze Star medals, three Meritorious Service Medals, the Army Achievement Medal and the Joint Service Achievement Medal.
Davis earned a bachelor’s degree in habilitative science in 1995 and a master’s degree in student development in 2001, both from Appalachian.
Davis and his wife, Appalachian alumna Dr. Carmen Davis ’95, of Charlotte, co-own Innovations Counseling and Consulting Services in Charlotte, and have three children.
Following the Appalachian State event, the public is invited to continue to Boone Mall where military veterans and their friends, family members and the general public are invited to attend the 13th annual Veterans Day Ceremony with music beginning at 10:30 a.m. and the program to follow at 11.
The High Country Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America encourages everyone to come out and honor the many local veterans who have served this country or who are currently serving in any branch of the military.
The history of Veterans Day dates back to the ending of World War I. The Allies and Germany agreed to an armistice on November 11, 1918, that was effectively the end of all the fighting. The day became known as Armistice Day as the end of the “war to end all wars.” However, once World War II and the Korean War broke out, Congress voted to amend the name and change it to Veterans Day on June 1, 1954. Since then, veterans have been honored each year on the 11th day of the 11th month.
Events on Monday will begin with music from the Watauga Community Band playing different selections of patriotic music at 10:30 a.m. The rest of the program begins at 11 a.m. with the presentation of colors by the Watauga High School Marine Corps JROTC, followed by guest speaker Rear Admiral Melvin W. Bouboulis of the United States Coast Guard. Following the speech will be the recognition of all veterans by conflict and by their respective branches of military service.
If you can’t make it to the events in Boone, there will be a special guest that will speak briefly at the American Legion in Blowing Rock at 11 a.m.
As a reminder, all schools, town and county offices and federal offices such as banks and the post office will be closed on Monday.
Veterans Day Events
160 Parkway School Drive, Boone
Friday, November 8, 8:30 a.m.
Appalachian State University
B.B. Dougherty Administration Building Veterans Memorial
438 Academy Street, Boone
Monday, November 11, 9 a.m.
1180 Blowing Rock Road, Boone
Monday, November 11, 10:30 a.m.
333 Wallingford Road, Blowing Rock
Monday, November 11, 11 a.m.