Veterans Day is Thursday – Veterans serving in the West Columbia police and fire departments

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Veterans Day is Thursday (Nov. 11) and there are many veterans who are part of West Columbia community.

Veterans Day is the time set aside for Americans to pay our respects to those who have served their country in the military. It is a day to stand united for US military veterans.

Veterans Day was originally called Armistice Day. In 1954, it was changed to Veterans Day and celebrates and honors America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.

“Veterans Day is when we give thanks for our freedoms and those who saw fit to serve this country and defend us,” said West Columbia Mayor Tem Miles.

There are several US military veterans serving on the West Columbia Police force and in the West Columbia Fire Department. West Columbia Police Chief Marion Boyce is a veteran of the US Army and he appreciates veterans.

“We like to recruit veterans to work for the police department,” said Boyce. “They already have that service component from their time in the military. That’s the kind of officer we like to have.”
Boyce said 18 of his officers are military veterans or they are currently serving in some capacity. He said veterans understand service to their country and they understand service to the community.

Miles said West Columbia has the “best municipal staff” there is. He also said the veterans who are a part of the City of West Columbia’s workforce are the backbone of the great services the city provides.

There are six military veterans or currently serving personnel who are on the crew of the West Columbia Fire Department, according to West Columbia Fire Chief Chris Smith.

Halls of Northside Middle School

“Veterans, because of their experience and the training they have been through, make good firefighters and public servants,” Smith said. “Veterans also understand rank structure and they fit in very well with the fire department.”

Smith said military veterans believe service to the community. He also said veterans generally possess a good work ethic;, are respectful, and they do a good job.  

Students are honoring veterans too. The halls of Northside Middle School in West Columbia are adorned with photos of the parents of Northside students who have served in the military. 

In addition to the display at Northside, two Lexington Two elementary schools will conduct parades for Veterans Day, The first is at 8:30 a.m. at Cayce Elementary. The second is at 12:45 p.m. at Wood Elementary, where students and veterans will walk in a parade. 

Also note: the City of West Columbia City Hall will be closed in observance of Veterans Day on Thursday and will resume regular hours on Friday.

Sanitation schedules may differ on certain routes. Please check the map for more information: You may report service requests online by visiting the Civic Web Portal at