‘Salute to Veterans’ begins ‘Fourth’ Celebration

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 3, 2001

Features Editor

The second annual "Salute to Veterans" in Brundidge Friday night had to go to plan "B" because of rain. However, the wet weather failed to dampen the patriotic spirit surrounding the event.

"The ceremony is naturally more impressive outdoors, but I believe everyone who attended was deeply moved by the tribute to those who have fought for our freedoms, those who died for them and to those who have kept the peace," said Randy Ross, veterans service officer for Pike County.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Ross said the "Salute to Veterans" gives the men and women who have served in all branches of the military – during war and during times of peace – an opportunity to participate and to be recognized.

Certificates of appreciation were presented to all veterans who attended the "Salute."

"The ‘Salute’ is a tribute to all veterans," Ross said. "But, we do like to make special presentations each year. Last year, we paid special recognition to the veterans of the Korean War because it was the 50th anniversary of that war.

"This year, much attention has been brought to the veterans of World War II because of the monument that will honor them in Washington, D.C. Also, the movie ‘Pearl Harbor’ has brought greater awareness of the attack on Pearl Harbor that brought us into that war. We have two Pearl Harbor survivors in Pike County, R.C. Carter of Brundidge and Walter Harris of Troy. We wanted to recognize them with plaques honoring them as Pearl Harbor survivors and as veterans of World War II."

In addition, plaques were presented to the active veterans service organizations in Pike County – American Legion Post 70, Troy; DAV Post 20, Troy; VFW Post 7055, Brundidge; and American Legion Post 145, Brundidge.

"The veterans service organizations do so much to promote patriotism in the communities of Pike County," Ross said. "These veterans served their country then and they continue to serve it now. We owe them a debt of deep gratitude – much more than we can say with a certificate, a plaque or a dozen ‘thank yous.’

The best way that we can show our appreciation is by showing pride in our country and being proud to be Americans."

The certificates were presented to the veterans by the Pike County Veterans Affairs Office and the city of Brundidge. Colonial Bank of Brundidge presented the plaques to the Pearl Harbor survivors and the service organizations.

The "Salute to Veterans" closed with a candlelight service during which each person was invited to light a candle in honor or memory of a loved one who served or is serving.

As each person came forward to light a candle from the unity candle, representing five wars – World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam and the Persian Gulf – he or she had the opportunity to speak the name of their loved one or loved ones.

"The candlelight service was emotional from many and very meaningful for everyone," Ross said. "It showed that we have not forgotten. We will continue to have a ‘Salute to Veterans’ prior to Independence Day each year because we must never forget what these men and women have done for America and what they have done for us."