Patriotism was on display Tuesday in DeKalb County as the community recognized Veterans Day with a parade and a special remembrance program.
Following the singing of the National Anthem by State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver and a program of patriotic songs by the Community Chorus, guest speaker Major Jerry Parker paid tribute to veterans, past and present, who served our nation and particularly those from DeKalb County. "Military veterans have fought and defeated all of those who would do us harm. America's veterans taught our enemies that harming America brings with it a very high price."
"The freedoms we enjoy today and our way of life are the direct result of the service of our veterans. The blood of veterans runs very deep in DeKalb County. This great county has an Historic legacy of it's citizens answering the call to serve in the armed forces during times of peril. That legacy began in the Revolutionary War and continues today in the War on Terror."
"The Apostle Matthew quotes the Lord saying, ‘you shall hear of wars and rumors of wars for nation shall rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom'. If there will be more wars, there'll be more veterans and more DeKalb Countians will be added to the honor roll of veterans."
"Today, we honor those who served our nation at war. To the veterans still with us, we look you in the eye and say thank you, and we salute you for your service to our country. For those veterans who lived a full life and died in old age, we bury them with all the respect and full military honors they so richly deserve. Then there are other veterans that we honor today, who gave their lives in battle. Most of them were in their late teens or early twenties. Some of them were married but they never saw their children grow up and they never played with their grandchildren. They never lived to experience all the joys and troubles of life."
"Veterans Day is a day for all Americans. It's a day to remember our veterans and what they fought for. It's also a day when we renew our commitment to them to make sure that America's freedoms continue for future generations. Let us honor all of them by living the freedoms they protected. Thank you for honoring our veterans today."
Major Parker, who was born and raised in Chattanooga, graduated from UT Chattanooga and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army, assigned to the 4th Infantry Division. He served a year in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for Meritorious service in combat. He later entered the active Army Reserve for six years and served as a Company Commander and as a Brigade staff officer with the rank of Major. He is also a retired Vice President of American General Life and Accident Insurance Company.
Prior to his remarks, Major Parker presented certificates to Edward and Edsel Frazier for their service during World War II. The certificates, issued by the U.S. Naval Institute, recognize the Frazier's for their participation at the Battle of the Bulge in the European Theater and for their contributions to that victory.