Last year’s story of the Denton County Veterans Day ceremony was to be bigger and better. Paul Bastaich, Denton County veteran’s service officer, vowed this year is going to be just as good.
For the second year, the county is collaborating with the University of North Texas and Texas Woman’s University to organize the annual event to honor the veterans and remind them of the benefits they have available to them.
The event will be conducted on the lawn of the Denton County Courthouse on the Square from 11 a.m. to noon Monday.
“It will include all the pomp and circumstance of last year, with UNT’s and TWU’s full participation, the presentation of the wreath with bagpipes, and the Denton Fire Department will set up their ladder trucks and have the flag flying as well,” Bastaich said Friday as he prepared to walk through the ceremony on the Courthouse on the Square lawn with a number of the participants.
Bastaich also noted that U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Lewisville, and Denton Mayor Mark Burroughs would be in attendance this year, along with the presidents of both universities.
In addition to the ceremony, Bastaich said TWU would have an event Tuesday for the public to learn about veterans benefits. UNT is having a similar event Wednesday for its students who are veterans.
UNT has more than 2,500 students attending school under the G.I. Bill, he said.
The keynote speaker for Monday’s event is Angela Shinn, a West Point graduate who works with the Texas Veterans Commission.
Tockie Hemphill, director of UNT’s Veteran’s Center, said the school’s participation in the annual ceremony could only help bring attention to the center, which arrived on campus in 2009.
“The center on campus is so young,” she said. “If people don’t know the center exists on campus, I believe this event will help people become more aware and come by and visit the center, even if it’s to just say thank you for helping honor our veterans.”
The event is truly a collaboration between the three groups, said Amy Okeefe, director of commuter services at TWU.
“It’s important for Denton to see we can pool all our resources together to make a really great event for our veterans,” she said.
BJ LEWIS can be reached at 940-566-6875. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
VETERANS DAY EVENTS
* 1 to 4 p.m. — Fallen Veterans Name Reading, part of “The Fight Continues” project, will take place at the Hubbard Oval at Texas Woman’s University, off Bell Avenue. In case of rain, the event will move to Room 207 of the Student Union, which is also off Bell Avenue. The goal of the project, which is being done at sites across the country, is to read all the names of fallen veterans throughout the conflicts from the birth of the United States. Each location will read about 1,750 names. TWU is the site for this project in Denton. For more information, visit http://the-fight-continues.com/.
* 1 to 3 p.m. — 14th annual Flower Mound Veterans Day ceremony at Flower Mound High School Stadium, 3411 Peters Colony Road. Veterans and their families are invited to a reception at 1:15 p.m., and the ceremony featuring a parade of Scout troops and ROTC units will begin at 2 p.m.
* 2 p.m. — Lake Dallas parade honoring veterans will run from the parking lot at 503 Main St. to the Veterans Memorial in Lake Dallas City Park at West Hundley Drive and South Shady Shores Road.
* 11 a.m. — Veterans Day ceremony on the Square in downtown Denton, sponsored by the University of North Texas, Texas Woman’s University and the Denton Veterans Service Office.
* 11:30 a.m. — Veterans Symposium and Benefits Expo featuring services available to student veterans, in Hubbard Hall at Texas Woman’s University, off Bell Avenue. The symposium focuses on women in the military.