Darlington Veterans Day Service 2015
By Jana E. Pye, Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org
The sun shone brightly on Tuesday, November 11 as members of the Darlington Veterans Memorial Committee and Darlington American Legion Post 13 and Post 210 joined civic leaders and community members to honor veterans past and present at 11:00 a.m. at the Carolina Bank park area across from Memorial Park on the corner of Main and Orange Streets in Downtown Darlington.
The Darlington High School JROTC presented the colors.
Bobby Kilgo shared the completion of the 1216 bricks on the four columns; the first brick is for R. J. “Rocky” Gannon, who is a WWII, Korean War and Vietnam War veteran. The last brick was for Douglas L. Taylor, a Korean War veteran.
Both commanders of the two Darlington American Legion posts shared remarks: Grady Weaver, Commander of Post 13, and Cadmar Wingate, Commander of Post 210.
Bert Sandifer shared the prayer, and Jane Lloyd played the rousing U.S. Military Branch Songs, and veterans from each branch stood proudly to be recognized.
“This Veterans Day, the 96th Anniversary, we as a country take the time to honor every veteran from the men and women of the greatest generation to those men and women recently returned from missions in the Middle East,” said Grady Weaver. “Veterans across the USA have served to keep their fellow citizens safe from harm, through times of war and times of peace.”
Weaver shared the details of the Fallen Soldier Monument placed at the rear of the Veterans Memorial Park; “There are those that gave the ultimate gift,” said Weaver. “There are 131 names from Darlington listed, including 4 from the Civil War, 22 from World War I, 77 from World War II, 7 from the Korean Conflict, 20 from the Vietnam War and 1 from Enduring Freedom. Because of them, our lives are free. Because of them, our nation lives. They fought for us; for us, they fell. Let us remember them with pride.”
Weaver also showed the crowd a green lightbulb sold at WalMart stores across the nation that are to signfy support for veterans and enlisted men and women currently serving our nation.
Cadmar Wingate gave thanks to all veterans in attendance, and asked that the family members of service members stand; “We know you have lived through difficult times and often taken the heavy load to keep the home fires burning. Thank you for what you have done.”
“The life altering decisions to join the military come s with much that is never heard nor seen by the general public,” continued Wingate. “Much of this commitment is both physically and mentally life altering. For many Veterans, they carry their memories internally within their heard and may on occasion share them with friends, family or in general conversation. Many do not. …Being a Veteran means that you still to this day get major goose bumps at football home openers when the national anthem is sung. It means you take it seriously when you fly your American flag outside of your home on the 4th of July and Memorial Day. It means even though your body is riddled with multiple problems, aches, and pains, you would do it all over again in a heartbeat. Why, because you deeply love this country of ours and you’re darn proud of it; our past, present, and future military members and all of the sacrifices that have been made by them and their families for us to live in this great country and share in the freedoms for which we’re privileged enough to have and for which Veterans make these ultimate sacrifices.
I’d like to share a quote from Purple Heart recipient, Howard OsterKamp: ‘All gave some, some gave all…’ please, when you see a wounded warrior or a disabled Veteran, please thank them for their sacrifice. God bless our troops, and God bless America.”
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