By Kitsey Burns Harrison
On a beautiful sunny day, area residents gathered at the Yadkin County Park to celebrate Veterans Day last Wednesday.
“We don’t have a mattress sale, but you’re welcome anyway,” joked Chuck Knight, veterans affairs administrator for the county as he welcomed attendees to the ceremony.
Before the ceremony began, Knight recognized the ladies of the American Legion Auxiliary Post 505, who were recently honored with nearly 20 awards for the 2014-15 year including, Membership Certificate-Honor Roll, first place in History Book Competition, first place Digital Diva Public Relations Award, first place Best Media Coverage Award, Most Outstanding Americanism Program with Focus on Children & Youth, and many more. Auxiliary Post 505 President Judi Phillips also received the award for Outstanding District President of the Year.
Following an invocation and singing of the national anthem led by Chaplain Buddy Rhodes, third-grader Evan Shore assisted veteran Leonard Triplett in leading the pledge of allegiance.
Flags representing each branch of service were then posted by veterans as Mel Speas played the songs of each branch of service on the mandolin.
VFW Commander Larry Crews addressed attendees at the
“Veterans come from all walks of life, they could be teachers, lawyers, bankers, barbers, policemen, firemen, they could be the person sitting next to you in church, eating beside you at lunch, holding the door for you, even the person begging for quarters on the corner,” Crews said.
He spoke of some of his experiences serving in the Navy. He also spoke strongly about the struggles of many veterans today.
“No veteran should be left behind,” Crews said. “Veterans; lives matter. No veteran should be homeless, hungry or without healthcare.”
Crews also stressed the importance of veterans’ votes in making changes to improve services for veterans.
“Congress has forgotten who they work for,” he said. “I guess we need to remind them. There are around 20.8 million veterans plus their families. That’s a lot of votes. I bet 20.8 twitters, emails, phone calls or letters would get somebody’s attention.”
American Legion Post 336 Commander David Shore also spoke at Wednesday’s ceremony. He shared a number of favorite quotes about veterans. He also recognized local veteran Daniel Swaim who was killed in Iraq 10 years go.
Shore also encouraged any area veterans who were not yet involved in the local VFW post or American Legion, to consider joining.
At the close of the ceremony, all veterans in attendance were asked to come forward as a wreath was placed at the veterans memorial, followed by a 21 gun salute and the playing of Taps.
For information on veterans services, contact the Yadkin County Veterans Affairs office at 336-679-8209.
Kitsey Burns Harrison may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter @RippleReporterK.
Kitsey Burns Harrison photos | Yadkin Ripple. Area veterans are recognized at a ceremony on their honor at the Yadkin County Park on Veterans Day.