By Max Hrenda
Some of the county’s history enthusiasts have begun hammering out details of a festival celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Veterans Monument in downtown Elizabethton.
These enthusiasts, who County Historian Scott Bowers informally dubbed the “Monument Committee,” decided during a meeting on Wednesday afternoon to hold the celebration on Saturday, Oct. 12, two days after the actual centennial date.
Bowers, who unofficially leads the committee, said the planning is the result of private citizens working toward something that is meaningful to them, without government assistance.
“This is a good opportunity to show what citizens can get done when they want the same thing,” Bowers said. “Everybody I’ve spoken to has been ready to jump in.”
Originally built to honor the Civil War veterans of Carter and Johnson counties, the monument has come to honor local veterans from every war. According to Bowers, however, many still overlook the region’s significance during the Civil War.
“People don’t realize how heavy it was up here,” Bowers said. “I’ve read communiques where the Confederates requested 10,000 soldiers to stop the Carter uprising. Still, both Union and Confederate helped build this together.”
Since the veterans of the Civil War have all died, however, re-enactors will participate in a procession that will include veterans from World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
Although the parade’s participants have been decided, the parade itself needs approval from the city of Elizabethton.