Saluting Cumberland

Published 7:35 am Friday, May 4, 2018

I would like to take a few moments to commend Cumberland County for a moving display of patriotism this past weekend at its Patriot Day Celebration.

Before learning about this event, I didn’t know Cumberland County had played an important role in the colonies’ declaration of independence from Great Britain, leading to the creation of the United States of America. Patriot Day highlighted how Carter Henry Harrison, a member of Cumberland County’s 1776 Committee of Safety, delivered a pivotal address to people in the county that later spread.

“He was really the spokesman for the Committee of Safety when they made their proclamation to be free from Great Britain,” said Barbara Gamage, who helped organize Patriot Day and is a member of the board of the Cumberland County Historical Society. “So I think he was a very important person since they chose him to make that proclamation and later go on to the Congress.”
Harrison’s key role was conveyed on Patriot Day through a brief skit that featured the Committee of Safety. It included Bruce Speas playing the role of Harrison, the Rev. Barry Vassar playing George Carrington, John Butler playing John Mayo and Bobby Heath playing William Fleming.

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I was also excited to see the participation of other prominent people and groups in the county during Patriot Day. A band from Cumberland County Public Schools helped stir up a patriotic tone with its medley of songs. The Cumberland Junior Reserve Officer’s Training Corps presented colors for the Pledge of Allegiance, which was led by Cumberland County High School Principal Dr. Jeff Scales. Scales also gave an impressive a cappella performance of the national anthem.

I thought it was a great idea to have Lauraetta Jones-Yates sing the songs representing the branches of the U.S. military, inviting veterans of each branch to stand when their song began.

Bravo to the Cumberland County Patriot Day Committee, which included, Sierra Duncan, Vivian Seay Giles, Beverly Lucas Hill, Elizabeth Jamerson, Victoria Kinney, Roxanne Salerno, Butler, Gamage and Vassar.

Titus Mohler is the sports editor for The Farmville Herald and Farmville Newsmedia, LLC. His email address is