Fallen heroes: City honors fallen veterans at Bicentennial Park
Published 4:00 am Tuesday, May 26, 2015
The American Legion Post 70 held its annual Memorial Day Ceremony at Bicentennial Park Monday morning, honoring those who gave the ultimate sacrifice while serving the United States of America.
Chaplain Otis Corbitt, United States Army, spoke to the community about selfless service.
“Selfless service is essential,” Corbitt said. Corbitt read a passage from Scripture in the book of Joshua. He told the story of a battle, and related it to the men who serve today.
“Joshua’s army put the welfare of the nation before their own,” Corbitt said. “Our nation has also made a sacred vow. We are the first nation committed to protecting freedom and liberty given by God.”
Corbitt said that the men and women who serve are the prime example of selfless service, where many of them have “laid down their lives on the altar of freedom.”
Those are the men and women honored at the service. Steve Green and Dennis Griffith read the names of the deceased Pike County combat veterans. The names represented those who served and died in World Wars I and II, Korea, the Vietnam War and Iraqi Freedom.
Before the ceremony, five families placed names on the honor wall. Each family was given a flag to post in honor of their loved one that was lost. The parents of Johnny Brown, 21, the most recent to sacrifice his life, received flowers to honor them.
“It was very emotional,” said Bonnie Brown, his mother. “It helps my husband and me. It makes us feel good to know that people still remember Johnny.”
Other deceased veterans were honored with a memorial wreath placed by the honor wall, followed by a moment of silence.
Katie Hale, Unit 70 Ladies Auxiliary president announced that the city will be building a walkway around Bicentennial Park. Currently, there are 407 names on the honor wall, so 407 flags will fly on either side of the walkway to honor the deceased veterans.
The project will begin in two weeks, and will be completed in October, just in time for the Veterans Day Program at the park. Bricks will be sold to the public for those wanting to honor a veteran.