Martin Calls on Nation's Leaders to Stop Bickering and Put Country and Troops First

November 12, 2007
by: 
Dwayne Page

A good crowd turned out for Monday morning's Veteran's Day observance downtown

The ceremony, held in front of the Veteran's Memorial Monument on the south side of the courthouse, featured remarks by guest speaker Harold Martin, a retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel, who called on our national leaders to stop the bickering and to put our country and troops first. "The men and women who marched off to World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, Iraq, and Afghanistan, knew that freedom is not free. The freedom that we enjoy has been paid for with thousands of lives, with sweat, with blood, and with immeasurable sacrifice by many thousands of American men. The coming generation needs to know about this."

"With the present world situation being what it is, this is the time to stand shoulder to shoulder to keep America the strong, free nation that our armed forces down over the years has secured for us. Not only is it the responsibility of our military to keep our country strong, it's also the responsibility of our elected leaders."

"Members of Congress are currently at odds with each other. Democrats are bickering with Republicans. Republicans are bickering with Democrats and it's time for the two to act in unison and put our country and our troops ahead of everything else."

Rebecca Purdue sang the National Anthem to start the program and the ceremony also featured a performance by the DCHS band and a group known as "Southern Harmony" who sang a few patriotic songs. The group is made up of Mary Lynn Page, Annette Greek, Betty Martin, and Susan Parham.

Charles Olsen offered the opening prayer, Doyle Smith led the audience in the pledge to the flag, and Edward Frazier and Bill Patrick laid a wreath at the Veteran's Monument at the conclusion of the program as Colton Rhody played taps on his trumpet.

Prior to the ceremony a Veteran's Day parade was held featuring several local veterans, who rode together on a float. There were also horse and mule drawn wagons among other participants.

The program was sponsored by the local American Legion and VFW.

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