Bamberg, South Carolina (November 2022) – On Nov. 11, 2022, Bamberg County Council joined Bamberg City Council and Mayor Nancy Foster at the Bamberg Civic Center for a Veterans Day celebration. County Administrator Joey Preston, Chairman Spencer Donaldson, Vice Chairman Dr. Jonathan Goodman, and Council members Evert Comer, Sharon Hammond, Phil Myers, and Larry Haynes were in attendance.
Former City Clerk Bruce Watson presided over the program; Mayor Foster welcomed the veterans and other attendees, and the invocation was given by Trinity United Methodist Church Pastor Rev. Kevin Dalton. Following the National Anthem performed by Ms. Tonya Davis Fuller and the Pledge of Allegiance by Mr. Bruce Watson, Mayor Foster introduced honored guest, Secretary William Grimsley, who shared a Veterans Day Message with the audience.
A Davidson College (North Carolina) graduate, Secretary Grimsley was commissioned in the United States Army in 1980 and served with distinction for 33 years before retiring from active duty in 2013. Grimsley served in many assignments in both the U.S. and abroad, which included multiple combat tours in Iraq. He held command and leadership positions at every level, completed every level of officer education and training while earning two Master’s Degrees, and ultimately served as Chief of Staff of the U.S. Strategic Command. Grimsley earned multiple awards and accolades including the Distinguished Service Medal, the Silver Star, multiple Bronze Stars, and the Purple Heart. In March, 2020, he was confirmed by unanimous vote as the first Secretary of the new South Carolina Department of Veterans’ Affairs and now resides in Beaufort, SC with his wife Jan.
After Secretary Grimsley’s remarks, Bamberg County Administrator Joey Preston applauded Mayor Foster and the Bamberg City Council for organizing such an incredible event. Mr. Preston said, “We are so fortunate to have Mayor Foster and the City’s Council’s leadership and are honored to be a part of this special occasion to uplift our veterans.”
County Administrator Joey Preston and Chairman Spencer Donaldson presented Secretary Grimsley with a Bamberg County Challenge Coin commemorating the County’s 125th anniversary and a memorial brick for the Bamberg County Veterans Walking Trail.
Preston also provided Bamberg County updates regarding a number of veterans-related projects.
Plans to expand the Veterans Trail: Includes Space Force (newly formed branch of the military), National Guard, Minutemen/State Guard (honoring Revolutionary War patriots and current State Guard members) monuments, and a Blue Star memorial (honoring all men and women who have served in the military)
Veteran Memorial Bricks:
Total = 297 bricks
To purchase a memorial brick, follow this link:
Newly completed Veterans Park will be dedicated in Downtown Bamberg on Memorial Day (May 29, 2023)
Seeking funding to complete a museum/cultural arts center that is adjacent to Veterans Park, which will include permanent exhibits honoring Bamberg County veterans
Bamberg County Veterans’ Affairs
Projected opening in the newly renovated Bamberg Memorial Hospital during the first quarter of 2023
Will provide a vehicle for the Veterans’ Affairs Office
Mr. Craig Walker then shared the latest news from the Bamberg County Veterans’ Affairs followed by a presentation of Quilts of Valor and recognition of Student Patriotic winners. All veterans were recognized and served lunch, and Mayor Foster gave closing remarks.
Quilts of Valor Recipients:
Mr. Howard Cogburn
Mr. Jeremiah Hammond, Jr.
Mr. Lorenzo Lawson
Mr. William H. Legree
Mr. Varnedo Muhammad
Mr. Leroy Sherman
Mr. James Smoak
Ms. Georgina Williams
Mr. Richard G. Varnedo
Mr. Franklin Ward
County Council Chairman Spencer Donaldson said, “Today’s program was a beautiful tribute to our veterans who we can never thank enough. Without them, our nation would not exist. Thank you.” Vice Chairman Dr. Jonathan Goodman said, “Our veterans are so valuable to our nation because they have been and continue to be willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedom, which we know is never free.”
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