THOMASVILLE -- A Veterans Day ceremony, presented by the Thomas County Veterans Council, will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday at the Thomas County Courthouse.

The keynote speaker for the event will be Jack Morse Jr., a veteran of the current war in Iraq. Prior to the ceremony at the courthouse, a Veterans Day breakfast will be held at American Legion Post 31 from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m.

The guest speaker for the breakfast will be Bill Hooks of Quitman, a veteran of World War II who was at Iwo Jima during the historic flag raising during the end of the war.

The Veteran's Council is comprised of American Legion Post 31, Thomas County Veterans of Foreign Wars, and Disabled American Veterans.

"The main reason we have these organizations is to continually honor the dead by serving the living," said Post 31 Commander Marshall Berman, organizer of the event.

"What we're trying to do is continue to serve our fellow veterans and support those in need and those deserving of recognition of rehabilitation -- for the veterans themselves or even their families," Berman said. "We feel that we continue to serve our country even after we take our uniforms off."

With a war going on in Iraq, there will be a new generation of veterans to salute at the ceremony this year.

"The second World War was known as the greatest generation," Berman said. "Korea was another greatest generation. Vietnam was another greatest generation. Iraq is the latest greatest generation.

"All of the veterans who have served their country, whether they were in combat or serving during peacetime, are willing to put themselves in harm's way and continue to keep this country what it is," Berman said. "It takes that, because it's not free. Those who have served have a camaraderie and understanding of what happens during war."

Also participating in the annual event will be Larry Price, president of the Thomas County Veterans Council, Sheriff Carlton Powell, Thomasville High School and Thomas County Central JROTC cadets, Miss Teen Georgia Cotton Hannah Barfield and Barbara Lee's fifth-grade class from Brookwood School.

There will also be displays at the Veterans Day ceremony Thursday, including a World War II jeep restoration by John Stahlman, and poster art displays by Joy Smith. Blue Bell will be serving free ice cream at the ceremony as well.

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