Veterans Day services held in Brundidge, Elamville
Published 4:00 am Thursday, November 12, 2015
Recent rains prevented the completion of a Veterans Monument that will be the centerpiece of a planned Veterans Park in Brundidge. However, inclement weather didn’t dampen the spirit of patriotism at the Veterans Day service at the monument site on Wednesday.
Brundidge VFW Post 7055 conducted the program honoring veterans and their families for their service to country during times of war and in times of peace.
Post Commander Henry Middlebrooks said Veterans Day is a day set aside to recognize the contributions and sacrifices of those who serve in all branches of military service.
“Memorial Day is a time of remembrance for those who lost their lives in service to their country,” Middlebrooks said. “Veterans Day is also a time to remember but it’s also a time to honor all of those who have served their country. Service to country is a privilege and it’s also a sacrifice. We honor all of our veterans and their families.”
Middlebrooks expressed appreciation to the City of Brundidge for its continuing efforts to recognize and honor America’s veterans.
“Years ago, we had a dream and the dream has not stopped,” Middlebrooks said. “The city honored our veterans by naming the old 231 Highway Veterans Boulevard and now the Veterans Park is becoming a reality.”
Brundidge Mayor Jimmy Ramage said the city purchased about 13 acres on Veterans Boulevard with plans to develop the property as a park.
“The property has the infrastructure needed for a building that could be dedicated to our veterans and there is space for, perhaps, a soccer field,” he said. “There are many possibilities but the most important thing is that we have another veterans’ memorial in our city. We have a Veterans Memorial on the library grounds downtown and now this one Veterans Boulevard.”
Middlebrooks said the new Veterans Memorial is in an ideal location for public recognition.
“All of our parades line up along Veterans Boulevard and the memorial has a prominent place here,” he said. “This monument honors all Americans who have paid the supreme sacrifice for their country and for the freedoms we enjoy.”
Ramage said the memorial project was spearheaded by Rogers Powell of Troy, a veteran and a patriot.
“Rogers Powell had three of these memorials made – for Brundidge, Troy and Pike County,” Ramage said. “Ours has been at City Hall for several years. Now we have a permanent place for it and a place of honor.”
During the Veterans Day programs in Brundidge and at Elam Cemetery, Freddie Turner, Post quartermaster, paid tribute to the late Daniel Terry Goolsby for his service in three wars.
“Chief Navy Medical Corpsman Daniel Terry Goolsby was a true patriot,” Turner said. “He enlisted in the Navy in December 1941 and served during WWII in South France, Italy, Sicily, Salerna and North Africa. He was discharged in 1946 but re-enlisted in 1949 and served during the Korean War until 1955.”
Turner said Goolsby was back in service in January 1966. He served in at least 11 different operations while fighting the North Vietnamese and received many commendations.
“After his military service, Daniel Goolsby continue to serve his country,” Turner said. “He worked with the Center for Disease Control in Montgomery and went all around the state inoculating people against polio, diphtheria, measles and other communicable diseases. Daniel Goolsby is a fine example of the many who served their country during wartime and then came home and continued to serve. We recognize and honor him.”
More than 60 veterans are buried at Elam Cemetery at Elamville and the American flags waving over the tombstones provided a meaningful backdrop to the Veterans Day program.
The Veterans Benefit Club, based in Ariton, was recognized for its efforts to replace the flags at the Veterans Memorial at Elam Cemetery.
Gregg “Wishbone” Sprinkle said the three-year-old veterans’ club is dedicated to assisting veterans whenever there is a need.
“Our motorcycle club is commitment to local veterans and their families,” he said. “We have a large number of veterans in our area and we are here to help and assist them in any way possible. They have sacrificed for us and, when they have needs, we owe them our support.”
Becky Gerritson, Wetumpka Tea Party founder, was the guest speaker at the Veterans Day program at Elam Cemetery. She spoke to the gathering, not from a political point of view, but as a military wife.
She said her husband, Eric, is a retired soldier and she knows and understands the sacrifices soldiers and their families make in the cause of freedom.
“There are many benefits of military service but there are also sacrifices,” Gerritson said. “Military service is a noble undertaking and the sacrifices that come with it are necessary.”
Gerritson cited limited income, limited family time and long separations as necessary sacrifices.
“We honored today to recognize those who have made those sacrifices,” she said.
Gerritson closed with words of caution.
“America is at a crossroads,” she said. “We are at a tipping point. It’s tricky, knowing who is for us and who is against us. The winds of change are blowing in different directions. The enemies are creeping in.”
She challenged veterans to take leadership roles in their communities and beyond.
“Who better to lead our cities and state, than our veterans.”