By Julie Huss
---- — DERRY — Veterans will once again have their moment.
Both Derry Village and Derry Rotary clubs are planning the annual cookout. All veterans from the Greater Derry area are invited.
The cookout is set for May 30 at 5 p.m. at the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Derry, 40 East Derry Road.
The event is free to Derry area veterans and a guest.
There will be guest speakers, music, dinner, drinks and a special gift awarded to all veterans.
The annual veterans salute began several years ago as a way to honor veterans for their service. The two Derry Rotary clubs then made it possible that first year for 20 World War II veterans living in Derry to take a free trip to visit the national monument dedicated to their service in Washington, D.C.
The following year, the clubs hosted a catered dinner for Korean War veterans. Subsequent years honored veterans from the Vietnam War, then all veterans from all wars were invited to center stage.
This year’s event is to celebrate veterans from all wars and conflicts.
Rotarian Art McLean said having a special night to honor the town’s veterans is something the Rotarians hold near and dear to their hearts.
McLean said it’s also a chance for the two clubs to let veterans know they are appreciated for their service.
“And they need to be thanked over and over again,” he said.
Younger veterans are also invited to the cookout. Rotarian Eddie Leon said the clubs are using social media to reach out to veterans, as well as sending the information to local American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars posts.
Leon said he would like veterans to call 674-8144 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org to get an idea of how many guests to plan on for the event.