“Thank you for a job well done.”
That was the message speakers at the annual King Veterans Day ceremony had for area veterans last week at King Central Park.
Guest speaker retired U.S. Army LTZ Davis C. (Bulldog) Smith told the crowd that servicemen who had served on the front line regularly received most of the accolades, but noted that all servicemen played a role in the county’s success.
“It was some of you folks who saved my butt,” he said. “The truck drivers, the medics, the signal men. People who are not supposedly inflamed with heroism, but they were all heroes. You don’t know how much we have relied on you. I was an infantry man, but I relied on all of you to get me through it.”
Smith reminded the audience to recognize all people who served in the military, especially those who had given their lives for the country.
“Don’t forget the famous lonely soldier on a hilltop some place in Afghanistan or Iraq,” he said. “Don’t forget the old man that was prone in the rice patties during the Vietnam conflict. Don’t forget the guys working on the aircraft carriers in the Navy who sent their aircraft to help us. Don’t forget the Coast Guard men, they don’t just go out and save people they are on alert. Don’t forget the soldiers that were in the trenches in WWII we want to thank them. They are the last breed, they are leaving us and we want to thank them.
“You have done a good job men,” he concluded. “Be proud. Thank you for a job well done and we are really proud of you.”
Congressman Mark Walker told the crowd that the nation needed to not only recognize veterans, but also do what it could to help them.
“We are honored and deeply humbled to to salute our veterans,” Walker said. “You are the first to bravely rise up against evil and we want nothing more than to be the first to rise up in support of you.”
Walker said he was privileged to speak for all of his constituents in honoring veterans, and commented on the impact veterans had not just on the country but on their families.
“Some of these fine men and women are no longer with us,” he said. “Today we pray for their families and the little boys and little girls who will grow up cherishing their God given freedoms and rights, and the men and women who have protected it and stood up for the Constitution. We pray that even in their loss they will see the sweetness of freedom. That they will grow up with the rights and the understanding that sometimes freedom calls us to stand and fight.”
Nicholas Elmes may be reached at 336-591-8191 or on Twitter @NicholasElmes.