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Ceremony to honor veterans, USMC birthday
Event Thursday at North Forsyth High
Nicolas Moen joins fellow JROTC members in rehearsing Wednesday for tonight's Veterans Day and Marine Corps birthday celebration at North Forsyth High School. - photo by Autumn Vetter

At a glance

The Veterans Day and Marine Corps birthday celebration will begin at 7:30 tonight in the football stadium at North Forsyth High School, 3635 Coal Mountain Road. It is free and open to the public.

The county’s youngest cadet and oldest Marine will be among those celebrating Veterans Day tonight at North Forsyth High School.

Alyssa Adams, a North freshman, and retired Marine Carnes Monk will be recognized during the ceremony, which is free and open to the public. It also will feature North’s JROTC members.

The event is “to commemorate the 237th birthday of the Marine Corps and Veterans Day … we rolled both holidays into one,” said Maj. Charles Kelly, who runs the JROTC program.

“The cadets are going to do a pass in review. It’s a formal military salute,” Kelly said. “It enhances tradition. It reminds the cadets where our country came from … it teaches drill and ceremony.”

Kelly said as many as 1,000 people could attend the 17th annual event on the school’s football field. The observance holds special meaning for those who served, as well as the cadets. He noted also the importance for those with no military experience to recognize those who have served.

“Our military, proudly so, does function at the behest of the civilian government. And I would hope our students, if they don’t remember the Marine Corps’ birthday in 20 years … they should at least remember that, per our Constitution, that the military takes its orders from the executive office,” Kelly said. “We support democracy and they need to remember that as part of our heritage.

“I don’t think you can accurately know where we are unless you know where we came from. And as a country, we should remember that.”