Despite rain drizzle and dreary skies Yadkinville community members turned out at the Yadkin County Park’s Veterans Memorial to honor veterans on Nov. 12.
The Veterans Memorial Day ceremony was led by Chuck Knight, Yadkin County Veteran’s Affairs Administrator. An invocation was held by Sam Williard and the National Anthem was performed by Rita Anthony while the American Legion raised the flag. Joe Hobson led the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Branches of the U.S. military were represented by the post of branch colors by their respective veterans. The US Army colors were posted by Rick Matthews, retired Army Warrant Officer and Vietnam veteran. The US Navy colors were presented by Larry Adams, a Vietnam veteran. US Air Force colors were posted by Ron Howlett, retired Air Force Captain and Vietnam veteran.
The US Marine Corps colors were presented by Randy Ellington, a retired Marine Master Sargent and a veteran of the Gulf War, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. The US Coast Guard colors were posted by Jim Gant, a World War II and Korean War veteran.
Commander of VFW Post 10346 took a moment to express his gratitude to his fellow veterans and to remind the audience what the service of their local veterans meant to their lives.
“These are your veterans; veterans, these are your brothers at arms,” said Crews. “These are the people that endowed you with the available rights of freedom: freedom of the press, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom to assemble, freedom to vote and the right to a fair trial.”
Crews also read the Presidential Proclamation of Vietnam Veterans Day that was presented by President Barack Obama on March 29 this year.
Crews ended his speech with a sincere expression of gratitude to the men and women who have served and continue to serve.
“To all the veterans and their families, I would like to thank you for your service and sacrifice to help keep the United States of America the greatest nation on earth,” Crews said. “May God bless each and every one of you and may he go with you in the days ahead.”
David Shore took his turn at the mic to inform the audience about a program created by the company North State. Operation North State provides a North Carolina themed Christmas box to local soldiers who are serving their country outside of their state. The box is filled with items made in North Carolina such as Hanes Brands t-shirts signed by Richard Petty, Texas Pete, Lance crackers, candy from Piedmont Candy Company, NC Sportsman and Our State magazines, S&D Coffee, Dewey’s treats and more.
Shore said that each box costs approximately $35 to ship and contain up to 38 items. He encouraged the audience to make a donation of their time or money to help make these boxes possible for all North Carolina soldiers that are serving their country overseas or in other states.
For more information on Operation North State visit www.operationnorthstate.com.
Knight noted that 2012 marks the 6oth anniversary of the Korean War. He informed the audience that the state of North Carolina has started a project to honor all veterans of the Korean War by contacting each one and sending them a certificate of appreciation for their service and sacrifice. Knight had some of those certificates to present during the memorial service.
Certificates were presented to Melvin S. Spees, Leon Pannetto, Kenneth Schrater, Aubrey Brown, James C. Reilly, Hugh Spear, Dwight Trivette and Joe Brannon.
Knight asked all veterans to come to the front to allow the audience to see how many people in their community have served their country. As they lined the front of the Veterans Memorial they turned to honor the placing of the wreath by the Ladies Auxiliary.
Sam Williard led the audience in a closing prayer and the Honor Guard performed a 21 gun salute and TAPS.
Following the memorial service, veterans and their families were invited to the VFW post at Brookshire’s Crossroads for lunch.
Knight said that any Korean War veteran who has not yet received a certificate from the state should contact him at 679-8209.
Reach Lindsay Craven at 679-2341 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.