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Events, park admission honor veterans

Chimney Rock State Park and Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site are offering free admission, Fletcher  honors veterans on Saturday afternoon and the Hendersonville Rotary Club honors its veteran next week. Here's a roundup of Veterans Day events:


Hawkins is keynote speaker in Fletcher

FLETCHER — The town of Fletcher will honor veterans on Saturday, Nov. 9, at 3 p.m. with its annual Veterans Day Salute at Fletcher Community Park.
The event includes a flag ceremony by Cub Scout Pack 602, a musical performance by the West Henderson High School Band and keynote remarks by Henderson County Commissioner Grady Hawkins, a retired Air Force colonel and decorated Vietnam War veteran.
Hawkins' Air Force career began while attending the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where he graduated with a degree in mathematics and a regular commission as a second lieutenant. Hawkins was assigned to the 405th Tactical Fighter Wing, 8th Tactical Bombardment Squadron 35th Tactical Fighter Wing, Republic of South Vietnam, where he flew 312 combat missions.
In February 1968, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for destroying six enemy trucks in a heavily defended area in a night attack. Later that year he was awarded a second Distinguished Flying Cross for an attack on a well-defended truck convoy that destroyed five hostile supply trucks.
Commissioner Hawkins holds a triple aeronautical rating of command pilot, navigator and bombardier and a career total of over 4,000 flying hours, including 770 hours of combat time. His military decorations include the Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross with One Oak Leaf Cluster, the Meritorious Service Medal with One Oak Leaf Cluster, the Air Medal with 19 Oak Leaf Clusters, the Air Force Commendation Medal, the Air Force Achievement Medal and the Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Device.
For more information please visit or call 828.687.0751.

Sandburg offers free admission

The Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site and National Parks across the country will offer fee free days to all visitors during Veteran's Day weekend Saturday through Monday, Nov. 11.
Carl Sandburg Home NHS will waive the tour fee of the Sandburg Home. There is never a fee to visit the grounds, trails or farm. Active duty personnel are also encouraged to pick up the America the Beautiful Military Pass for use throughout the year at any national park, wildlife refuge or other federal site that charges an entrance fee. Military members must show a current, valid military identification card to obtain their pass. Dependents of active duty personnel are also eligible for this pass.
Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.


Chimney Rock

CHIMNEY ROCK — Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park is honoring veterans, reservists, retired and active military personnel service with a free visit Nov. 7-11.

Fall foliage should remain near peak color in lower elevations of Chimney Rock and Lake Lure through this weekend, making the 75-mile panoramic views from atop the Chimney even more breathtaking.

Free admission applies to military members with ID, not for entire party, and veterans must present military ID or proof of service. Military ID provides a $2 discount for other adults and $1 discount for youth ages 5-15 in the service member's vehicle. Military discounts on admission is available year-round. For the latest fall color report, hours and rates, visit

Boy Scout troop flag raising
A local boy scout troop from Western North Carolina will raise the flag over Chimney Rock at 9 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 11 in honor of Veterans Day. This annual tradition brings local scouts and community members together to recognize the countless Americans who have served our nation in the military. The public and media is welcome to attend.