Freedom sums it up

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 12, 2009

Katie Hale, of the Unit 70 Ladies Auxiliary, summed Veteran’s Day up best — “freedom.”

“We have one word for today, and that’s freedom,” said Hale, at the city of Troy’s annual Veteran’s Day Ceremony at Bicentennial Park. “Freedom is the word of the day.”

Hale led the crowds, made up of veterans, veterans families and those who simply wanted to honor, in chanting that sacred word — a word which those fallen and those still living fought to preserve so closely.

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The ceremony was keynoted by SFC Robert Grubbs, retired from the U.S. Army.

Grubbs, a veteran himself, displayed just what a veteran is.

“They are people we know who have tasted self-sacrifice,” he said.

“Veterans are men and women of people, soft spoken and slow to anger. A veteran never jokes about war. He is a friend to all races of man,” he continued. “He can spend his whole afternoon doing nothing because that’s what he paid the price to do.”

And just as veterans had their duties to pay, so too, do ordinary citizens, Grubbs said.

“Let’s honor and vow never to forget them,” he said. “As we gather today we celebrate not only soldiers who have fallen in duty, but the soldiers living in our community, whether it be policemen or firemen.”

Randy Ross, Pike County Veteran’s Service Officer, said it is important to remember in a special way those who have fallen in battle.

“As we take time to reflect this morning what it means to us, we want to pay respect to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice,” Ross said.

Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford reminded residents that each of the flags placed at Bicentenial Park was just for that purpose.

“Each of these flags is not for beautification as we drive by,” Lunsford said. “Each represents a veteran on that memorial here.”