YOUNG COUNTY (KFDX/KJTL)—
Young County residents celebrated Independence Day in downtown Graham Thursday.
Festivities began at 9 a.m. with a pancake breakfast and chalk art competition. They had another ceremony timely for this day.
Besides other events, Young County residents celebrated Independence Day by honoring the 16 new names that have recently been added to the Veteran’s Memorial.
The parade coordinator said it’s the 19th year for Graham’s celebration.
“We just try to give the community an opportunity to participate and sing happy birthday to the country,” parade coordinator Knox Bishop said.
This year’s theme is ‘America The Beautiful,’ the same theme chalk artists used to make sidewalk creations.
“I graduated from Graham High School so when I heard they had a professional category, I have my art degree, I definitely wanted to represent as a Graham graduate,” first-place winner Sarah Pippins said.
Alongside food, parades, and art, 16 new names added to the New Century Veteran’s Memorial were unveiled.
“We have an entire generation, we’ve been at war for two decades now and a lot of these young people they’re not getting a place to be remembered for their service,” Knox said.
Last year, the new memorial was dedicated because the original ran out of space for names. Bishop said the new one can hold over 600 names.
“Every year we add to it, the names of people who have gone into the service from Young County and have served honorably or in this case we add people that we had forgotten or couldn’t get onto the original back in 2000,” Knox said.
Ceremonies Thursday honored the additions.
“Let the community see them in person cause a lot of people you know they see them every day at work but they don’t know that they were in the service or what they did,” Knox said.
Though it’s a day known for food, fun, and floats, Young County wants the community to never forget the names of those who fought for our freedom.
You can visit the New Century Veteran’s Memorial at the Young County courthouse.
“Chalk the Walk” competition winners:
Professional: Sarah Pippins ($1,000 prize)
Amateur: Gavin Henderson ($300 prize)
Child: Zihna Wuthrich ($50 prize)
1st place: Veterans of Foreign Wars
2nd place: Oak Street Baptist Church