At soul of America’s fighting forces

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 12, 2009

Singer, songwriter Lenny Trawick set the stage for the Veteran’s Day Program at Elam Baptist Church in Elamville Wednesday with the song he wrote for his dad titled “An Ordinary Man.”

Col. (ret.) Lawrence Bowden echoed Trawick’s sentiment that America’s wars have always been fought by “ordinary men.”

“In 1775, a ragtag bunch of colonists — farmers, tradesmen and shopkeepers — on Breed’s Hill in Boston turned back the mighty British army,” Bowden said. “The British lost 1,000 men and would have lost more except the American militia ran out of powder.

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It was the will of that ragtail bunch that enabled them to defeat the British. Nobody could stop them. Somehow that will has come down to us from that line of spirited men. It’s the spirit of Breed’s Hill.”

Bowden got a letter from his son when he was serving in Iraq saying that he wished all Americans could see how bravery of the men and women who are fighting the war on terrorism.

“These are ordinary men who are fighting this war just has ordinary men have fought for our country since the American Revolution,” Bowden said. “As we gather here today to celebrate Veterans Day, our future veterans are in Iraq and Afghanistan. They have their fingers on chain guns. They are hearing the blast of gunfire, the whoop of helicopters and roar of planes overhead. They are hauling supplies and watching for dangerous explosives along the roadways.”

Bowden said because today’s military is such a well-oiled machine, the fighting men and women will not be found without ammunition like those farmers and tradesmen on Breed’s Hill more than 200 years ago.

“All branches of our military have a job to do and they are doing it,” Bowden said. “We are an all volunteer army and it’s an army that fights with the spirit of Breed’s Hill. But we are not a military nation. We don’t want to occupy another country but we are willing to fight for causes that we believe in.”

Bowden served during the Korean War and said that, aside from his family, his service to his country is the most meaningful thing in his life.

“I’m just an ordinary man who loves his country and is proud to have served it,” he said. “As a veteran, I don’t think that my country owes me a popeyed thing. But we do owe a deep debt of gratitude to our wounded warriors. We need to keep them in our prayers every day.”

The Veterans Day Program was sponsored by VFW Post 7055 in Brundidge and held at Elam Baptist Church Cemetery. A luncheon followed the ceremony and was hosted by Elam Baptist Church.