American Legion honors vets at ceremony

Published 3:00 am Saturday, November 12, 2016

Pike County’s American Legion Post 70 held their annual Veterans Day ceremony on Friday to honor veterans both living and dead.

Post 70 Commander Bob McLendon led the program at Bicentennial Park.

McLendon used his time speaking to talk about leadership qualities learned n the military that also apply to civilian life.

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“Duty is the most sublime word in the English language,” McLendon said, quoting Robert E. Lee. “You cannot do more. You should never wish to do less.”

McLendon quoted many other great military leaders on the topic of leadership, including George Patton and Douglas MacArthur.

“George Patton said ‘Do everything you ask of those you command,’” McLendon told the crowd. McLendon related these quotes as lessons for people in their everyday lives.

McLendon also told of his personal experience with his own military captain whom he greatly admired.

“He made us feel proud of what we were doing,” McLendon said. “We all felt like part of a team striving for the same goals. Ranks and tithes don’t automatically earn you respect; you’ve got to earn that.”

The key message that continued throughout McLendon’s speech was that treating one’s subordinates with respect is what gains respect. McLendon used an example of a list given out by Maj. Gen. Guy Malloy to his subordinate commanders to show how these leadership qualities gain respect.

“No matter how tough and dirty the mission or the degree of hardship and danger …  Soldiers will never fail commanders who are consistently fair and honest, professionally competent, and that put the welfare of their soldiers above their own,” McLendon quoted from Malloy’s list.

He also pointed to overcoming failure as the definition of success. “Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.”

There was also patriotic singing at the event, the playing of taps in honor of deceased veterans, and a special recognition of one of Pike County’s deceased veterans Easter Mullis Stewart. A member of Charlie’s Angels assisted Stewart’s family in placing a flag in his honor.