Veterans are being honored today in ceremonies at schools and other public events across Hall County.
“This is a special day and a special commemoration,” said Don Landrum, guest speaker at the Paul E. Bolding American Legion Post 7’s annual ceremony Monday at Lakewood Baptist Church.
“All people throughout the history of our great country have served ... during times of combat or peace time, all recognized today in a special way because they’re all special people.”
Landrum is a retired U.S. Army Special Forces sergeant first class. He has a Bronze Star and, as a civilian serving in the U.S. Department of Defense, he won the meritorious civilian service award, the second highest medal provided to civilian federal employees.
He described a U.S. veteran as a “soldier, savior and a sword against the darkness, and he is nothing more than the finest, greatest testimony on behalf of the finest, greatest nation ever known.”
Landrum closed by saying, “It is only fitting we thank the soldiers of yesterday, today and tomorrow. ” He then snapped to attention and delivered a firm salute.
The ceremony also featured a placing of wreaths at the altar and Post 7 past commander Larry J. Emmett’s tearful remembrance of prisoners of war and those missing in action.
And Col. Tony Carter of the Hall County Sheriff’s Office read a letter from Sheriff Steve Cronic, who is helping coordinate a sheriffs’ conference this week.
“When I get discouraged about the direction our country seems to be headed, it is you guys that remind me about the things that made America great and give me hope for the future,” Cronic wrote. “God bless you for everything you’ve done for our country.”
Elsewhere, Gainesville State College participated in the national Remembrance Day National Roll Call, with faculty, staff, students and community volunteers read aloud the names of the 6,600-plus casualties of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The event began at 7:40 a.m. and last through the day, with a nationwide minute of silence at 2 p.m.