Area veterans gathered in Gainesville Wednesday, Nov. 11, to celebrate a new Vietnam War memorial and hear former Gov. Nathan Deal speak about sacrifice and service to country.
“As a percentage of our population, the number of veterans is going to continue to decline,” Deal said during a Veterans Day ceremony at Rock Creek Veterans Park. “So, even though we have a very good representation here today, you are indeed an elite group.”
“To each of you, I say thank you,” Deal added. “What is happening in this ceremony and in thousands all across our land today are great celebrations to say thank you to our veterans, and that is altogether appropriate.”
The percentage of elected officials who have served in the military “is precipitously declining, as well,” the Army veteran said, noting that both President Donald Trump and President-elect Joseph Biden aren’t veterans.
“That bothers me, because I believe that as we make decisions in the future about sending young men and women into conflict, I would feel much better if I knew we had a commander-in-chief who understood on a personal basis what those sacrifices those young people would be making,” said Deal, drawing applause.
“You are indeed a special group of Americans,” he said. “Your service is simply the down payment on the guarantee of blessings of liberty and justice for all. Even more than that, you have made your payment for keeping our country free.”
State Sen. Butch Miller, R-Gainesville, also spoke at the event.
“We have a debt to our military – each and every branch, each and every person and each and every family,” he said.
Their remarks were made around a monument donated by Jack Frost, owner of Memorial Park Funeral Home. The black marble structure bears the inscription “All gave some, some gave all.”
“We were honored to provide this for the veterans of Vietnam and what it stands for,” Frost said.