Veterans honored at annual Cullman County Veterans Day Celebration

W.C. Mann for The Cullman Tribune

A member of the U.S. Army’s Ft. Benning-based Silver Wings parachute demonstration team comes in for a landing Saturday at Cullman Regional Airport. (W.C. Mann for The Cullman Tribune)

VINEMONT – Saturday was a sunny and beautiful day in Cullman County, perfect weather for the annual Cullman County Veterans Day Celebration at Cullman Regional Airport.  Dignitaries including Cullman Mayor Woody Jacobs and U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt, R-Alabama helped kick things off, while the Wallace State Singers and Jazz Band and the Tennessee-based Air National Guard Band of the South provided live entertainment throughout the day.

The U.S. Army Maneuver Center of Excellence Parachute Team, known as Silver Wings, made two spectacular jumps, flying the U.S. and service branch flags from their rigs in flight. Vintage military vehicles and current generation surplus tactical vehicles belonging to local law enforcement agencies were on display, along with military weaponry, helicopters and ultralight aircraft.  The local Sons of Confederate Veterans camp manned a Civil War camp display, and Wallace State students donned period clothing to represent military and civilian impressions from the World War II era.

Hosts were disappointed at the absence of two WWII aircraft from the Commemorative Air Force, grounded by a maintenance issue and sick pilot, but folks lined up for their turns to fly in a Vietnam-era UH-1 “Huey” helicopter brought by the Army Aviation Heritage Foundation.  

Through the course of the day, veterans and their spouses received simple honors like free coffee and donuts at the “USO Canteen” in the airport terminal, and a free lunch served by the Elks.

The annual event is put on by the Cullman Elks Lodge and local veterans.

Retired U.S. Air Force Col. Ken Brown of Cullman’s Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2214 told The Tribune, “We’re pleased at the crowd turnout.  It was a beautiful, beautiful day. Had a lot of veterans out here who very much appreciated the crowd coming out to wish them a happy Veterans Day, and we’re going to make it bigger and better every year!”

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