An unwavering service to Americans
More than 50 veterans of the U.S. Army, Army National Guard, French Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force and U.S. Marines were individually recognized onstage amid two lines of sword detail provided by a saber sword team during the veterans program at the Rutherford County Senior Center on Tuesday morning.
“The words ‘thank you’ just aren’t enough,” Senior Center Activities Coordinator Barbara Hill said, as she addressed the crowd of veterans, family and friends during the program. “When I look around this room, I get emotional. I can’t find the words to thank our veterans enough for all that they’ve done.”
To officially begin the veterans ceremony, GySgt. Eric Currington Jr., a veteran of the U.S. Marines, introduced the presentation of colors by the R-S Central High School MCJROTC Color Guard. As the colors were presented, attendees stood and proudly recited the Pledge of Allegiance.
“We are here to honor our service members and to thank each one of them for their sacrifices,” Senior Center Director Angela Ezell said. “We take many things for granted, and we thank our veterans for having protected our freedom.”
Entertainment during the veterans program included a musical performance by U.S. Marines veteran Robert Judd, who sang “God Bless America” and a medley of George M. Cohan songs including “I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy.”
Sixteen third-grade students from Spindale Elementary School also performed several patriotic songs, leading attendees in the singing of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
A touching part of the ceremony involved the recognition of veterans by Sgt. Major Don Barrett, a veteran of the U.S. Marines.
“We want to recognize our veterans for their duty, honor and unwavering service to Americans,” Barrett said. “May we always be humble to those service men and women, to those who defend the U.S. Constitution and to those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. To all veterans, thank you.”
Each veteran was honored with the presentation of a patriotic pin and certificate.
“When I think about the definition of a ‘hero,’ I think about members of my own family who served and I think about all of your faces,” Hill said to the honored veterans. “I appreciate what you have done and how we are able to live here and for our freedom, all because of you.”