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2005 Homecoming activities to honor veterans

Published or Revised June 10, 2005

vetmonument.jpg

A memorial to service members who attended Paris Junior College and gave their lives in service to their country is located in front of the PJC Administration Building.

Paris Junior College Alumni and Friends Association is taking a step back from its normal homecoming schedule, and in November will pay special tribute to military veterans.

A three-day homecoming celebration Nov. 10-12 will honor all who served and are serving in the military, both active and reserve.

The climax of the weekend celebration will be the induction into the PJC Hall of Honor all World War II veterans who attended Paris Junior College. This induction will take place at the Saturday awards luncheon.

“This is going to be a very special homecoming, a special celebration,” said Alumni President Thomas E. Hunt III. “We will be honoring all who have served their country in all branches of the military, and those who are currently serving.”

Instructor Allen Williams and students in the PJC History Department have been collecting oral histories through interviews with World War II veterans during the past year. They hope to continue this process on Nov. 10 by interviewing veterans who attend homecoming.

Williams said stations would be set up for recording interviews. Alumni and friends attending homecoming will be invited to sit in and listen to the interviews. “It should be interesting,” Williams said. “I hope a good number of World War II veterans can attend this homecoming.”

Since homecoming this year will include Veteran’s Day, Nov. 11, a special communitywide observance is being planned at 11 a.m. at Noyes Stadium to honor all military personnel from all branches of the service, including veterans and currently active and reserve personnel.

“We would like for this to be the largest Veteran’s Day observance in Texas,” said Johnye Robertson, Director of Institutional Development.

Robertson hopes that the public schools in Paris will join in the observance with combined bands and chorale groups to provide outstanding music and song.

Arrangements are being made to have a military color guard, a drill team and a fly-over of aircraft. The public will be invited to attend the event. In case of bad weather, it will be held in the Paris High School auditorium.

Homecoming participants will be invited to have lunch on Thursday and Friday in the cafeteria, located in the J.R. McLemore Student Center. A special menu will be provided both days, according to Robertson.

Saturday’s events will be held in the Love Civic Center located just south of the campus. Breakfast and business will kick things off at 9 a.m., followed by registration and the 50th reunion of the PJC Class of 1955.

The awards luncheon will begin at 11:45 a.m. for the induction of the veteran honorees. The Alumni office is in need of names and information regarding World War II veterans who attended Paris Junior College. This includes those who attended before or after the war.

Robertson also urges family members to write to her office and give her the names of veterans who attended PJC and are now deceased.

“We hope people will respond early to these requests so we can properly plan this homecoming and honor all of our veterans,” Robertson said.

Immediately following the awards luncheon, the classes of 1964, 1965 and 1966 will hold a reunion at the McLemore Student Center.

Saturday’s activities culminate with the Dragons and Lady Dragons basketball games, where a special tribute to World War II veterans is planned.

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