Thursday, November 24, 2011
By SUE WATSON
Holly Springs veterans were treated to a military appreciation ceremony Thursday, Nov. 10, the day before Veterans Day.
Guest speaker was Rep. Kelvin Buck, a former member of the U.S. Marine Corp.
He reminded citizens to remember that freedoms enjoyed in the United States came and continue to come at a high cost. Freedom is not free, he said.
Buck charged everyone to thank veterans who saw active duty and those who served and are serving. He also urged everyone do everything necessary to see that veterans and their families get the health care and financial assistance they need and deserve.
Buck served 12 years in the U.S. Marine Corps including active duty in Desert Storm.
He reviewed how Veterans Day was set by former president Dwight D. Eisenhower as the official day to recognize and honor veterans. Formerly it was established after World War I as Armistice Day in 1938, celebrating the “war to end all wars.”
Only a few years after the day was established, the world was in its second world war. And there has been no end to war or conflict since.
In reviewing core military values, Buck said they always contain “a sense of sacrifice, dedication, urgency and need to rise to the occasion.”
“Every generation has the responsibility to maintain this freedom,” he said. “People in other nations enjoy freedom because of the sacrifices made by this nation. Everyone is free because of the sacrifices made before them.”
In words of comfort to an estimated 20 veterans in attendance, Buck said, “The sacrifices you gave have been significant and cannot go unnoticed. You don’t always realize the significance of what you have done. Veterans understand fully responsibility. And I know they understand the fight is not over. Unless we understand that fully, we will allow some other nation to deprive us of this freedom. That won’t happen as long as we have young people willing to serve.
“It is your freedom and their respect. Government is responsible for their needs once they have made their sacrifice – that they get the benefits they deserve. Whatever they have as a problem, there should be no question about policy as a country to get everything they need.
“We should be united that no veterans should have to do without anything they need and their families should be cared for as well.”
George Zinn III, on behalf of the Marshall County Board of Supervisors, spoke of the missed birthdays and holidays with families – sacrifices military men and women make.
“But they very seldom complain,” he said.
“We would not have the freedom without their sacrifices. We are truly honored you chose to serve our country.”
He spoke of the injustices veterans sometimes face when returning from war: broken families, dismembered bodies, joblessness.
“We must continue to serve them as they served us,” he said.
The ceremony included a table set for the fallen soldier and a toast ceremony for each branch of the military service and for the military families, to Marshall County, to guests, and to the state of Mississippi.
Those on the program included Maj. Dave PreJean (AFROTC instructor), Master Sgt. Greg Hudson and the Holly Springs High School Honor Guard, Marvin Lucas (invocation), Holly Springs AFROTC Color Guard, Kenneth McMullen (recreation director), Claude Vinson (Knights of Columbus), Emmily Hurdle (soloist), Andre’ DeBerry (mayor of Holly Springs), Sen. Bill Stone, Michael Puckett (Mississippi State Veterans Office), LTC William Hollowell (co-host), Rev. Edward Moses (benediction), and 1st Sgt. Calvin James (host).
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