COLUMN: Andalusia – The most patriotic town in Alabama

Published 1:00 pm Friday, October 27, 2023

Andalusia has laid claim for the title, the most patriotic town in Alabama. Just look around Andalusia’s main streets! Every day you will see red, white and blue fire hydrants. Many businesses regularly fly the American flag, but on special occasions, the Andalusia Civitan Club and many of the churches make sure Old Glory is flying from every corner.

This year’s Celebration of Heroes event to be held at the Andalusia High School auditorium at 2 p.m., Sunday Nov. 5.

In November, you will see more than 570 banners displayed downtown honoring Covington County’s military veterans. These banners were sponsored and paid for by veteran’s families, organized and produced by Covington Veterans Foundation and hung by the city’s workers.

Each year around Veterans Day, Covington Veterans Foundation, in partnership with the City of Andalusia, places these banners on downtown light poles. They remain there through Veterans Day. This year there will also be 539 flags placed on the lawn at City Hall through Veterans Day to honor the veterans from Alabama that died in the Korean War.

On Sunday, November 5, Covington Veterans Foundation will hold its Celebration of Heroes program at the Andalusia High School auditorium at 2 p.m. This year’s program will honor all veterans with a special focus on the county’s Korean War veterans. There will be patriotic music and entertainment from the Andalusia High School band, the Andalusia Elementary School Show Choir, the new Lower Alabama Community Choir, the Andalusia Ballet and the Colby Carlock and Hank Williams Revue. There will also be a special speaker.

Two banners of WW II veterans, Claude Pike and Merrill Sauls. [Photo: John Vick]

At the conclusion of the Sunday program, CVF will open its special exhibit at City Hall, honoring Korean War veterans. The exhibit is museum quality and was put together by CVF Operations Manager, Robert Evers. The exhibit will remain open through Veterans Day. 

As in the past, the Covington Veterans Foundation is producing a magazine to be distributed in the county’s newspapers and at other Veterans Day events. This year’s focus will be on the county’s soldiers who died in Korea. CVF will also deliver baskets to each veteran residing in a nursing home in Andalusia, Opp and Florala. 

Andalusia City schools have programs that honor veterans every year. This year, Andalusia Elementary School will have its program at 8:30 a.m. on November 8. Andalusia Junior High School will have their program at 1:30 p.m. on the same day.

Banners of WW II veteran Ray Sibley and his grandson, Forrest Sibley, who was killed in Afghanistan. [Photo: John Vick]

At 10:00 a.m. on Veterans Day, Saturday Nov. 11, The Andalusia Area Chamber of Commerce will sponsor its annual Veterans Day parade with all sorts of patriotic floats and bands. At the conclusion of the parade, there will be program with a distinguished speaker to honor veterans at Veterans Memorial Park behind City Hall. 

Other annual events include Memorial Day when banners of veterans who died in wars are flown downtown. There is also a special program at Veterans Park that honors those veterans.

On the 4th of July, the Old Three Notch Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution sponsors a colorful and patriotic parade each year. The night of July 4th, the City of Andalusia celebrates with live music, water melon and a fireworks show. 

Covington Veterans Foundation exists to preserve and honor the service and sacrifice of former and current members of the United States armed forces who have lived and worked in Covington County. We appreciate the support of all who help make Andalusia the most patriotic town in Alabama.

John Vick, Chairman, Covington Veterans Foundation