• 37°

Moment of silence for Fort Hood victims part Veterans Day events

By Scott Jenkins
sjenkins@salisburypost.com
Duty and sacrifice.
Powerful words. But to those who’ve served in the U.S. Armed Forces, speakers said at a Veterans Day program at the W.G. Bill Hefner VA Medical Center, they equal a choice, a lifestyle, a dedication to protecting this nation and preserving its freedoms.
“Veterans know that duty and sacrifice are more than words,” said Maj. Queen E. Williams, keynote speaker at Wednesday’s program.
Before addressing veterans and their family members assembled in a social room at the VA Medical Center, Williams, who is retired from the U.S. Air Force and JROTC instructor at Salisbury High School, asked them to honor some who will never attend such a gathering. Heads bowed, they observed 30 seconds of silence for the victims of last week’s shooting at Fort Hood. Army psychiatrist Nidal Hasan is accused of the shooting rampage that killed 13 and left 29 wounded.
Earlier on the rainy, blustery day that caused the annual Veterans Day parade to be canceled, members of the Rowan County Veterans Council laid a wreath at the National Cemetery on Government Road.
Williams noted that among those remembered in such ceremonies are service men and women who “have had to pay the ultimate sacrifice. Every week, in a solemn ceremony, another is laid to rest, even here in Salisbury.”
But as important as memorializing those who lost their lives in service to the nation, she said, is thanking those who gave their lifetimes, including those who continue serving their communities and fellow veterans after their military careers.
And, she said, it was a time to honor the men and women answering the call of duty today.
“We have young men and women who are still willing, in the middle of two wars, to say ‘I swear,’ ” Williams said. “They’re willing to defend that flag.”
Carolyn Adams, director of the VA Medical Center, said she and others at the hospital count it not a duty “but truly a privilege” to serve veterans, and not only those who have fought in wars, “but all who took the solemn oath. … All of them served and all of them deserve our gratitude.”
The Veterans Council bestowed awards to several people at the program. They are:
– Hercules Shannon, of American Legion Post 107 in Salisbury, was named Veteran of the Year.
– Harold Anderson, American Legion Post 342 in Salisbury, Chaplain of the Year.
– Elaine Howle, American Legion Post 185 in China Grove, Service Officer of the Year.
The Rowan County Veterans Honor Guard presented and retired the colors. Martha Corriher of American Legion Post 146 Auxiliary sang the national anthem. Gary Gulledge, chaplain with American Legion Post 327 gave the invocation. Homer Robertson, president of the Veterans Council, was master of ceremonies.
Some who attended the program Wednesday wore the uniforms of their youth; others came in civilian clothes but stood draped in the pride of serving their country, in whatever branch they rendered that service.
“It doesn’t matter what uniform you wear … because when we put on these uniforms, we represent the United States of America,” Williams said. “We represent the freedoms of the United States of America.”
Veterans have stood up for the nation, she said. They have fought for those freedoms.
They have done their duty. “Each of us is better because of a veteran,” she said, “and so is America.”

Comments

Comments closed.

High School

Photo gallery: Carson girls win West Regional, headed to state championship

High School

High school basketball: Carson girls headed to state championship game

Local

Commissioners set date for public hearing on potential solar energy system rule changes

Health

Two of Rep. Sasser’s bills successfully pass through Health Committee

Local

Rep. Warren’s measure to allow removal of public notices from newspapers put on back burner

China Grove

China Grove Town Council weighs future of previously rejected housing development

Local

Salisbury City Council hears public comments, receives presentation on Main Street reconfiguration

Crime

Blotter: Man charged with felony drug offenses

Nation/World

California crash kills 13 of 25 people crammed into SUV

Nation/World

Biden vows enough vaccines by end of May

Coronavirus

State to vaccinate medically vulnerable starting March 24

Coronavirus

One new death, 20 new COVID-19 positives reported in Rowan

Kannapolis

Kannapolis man dies in moped crash

Crime

Salisbury Police chief addresses K-9 video, says officer separated from animal

Local

Rowan Rescue Squad sets record straight on fundraising typo

Local

City approves DOT agreement, Salisbury Station project could begin next year

Local

County plans to use vulture effigy, enforce violations to remedy animal carcass feeding problem

Education

Two weeks after ending enhanced protocols, Catawba has no COVID-19 cases

News

Council to hear revised version of Downtown Main Street Plan

Local

Veto override of NC school reopening bill fails in Senate

News

Political Notebook: Majority of likely voters, local legislators support school reopening bill

Coronavirus

COVID-19 vaccinations in Rowan top positives since start of pandemic

Crime

Man faces drug charges after breaking and entering call

Lifestyle

Waterworks schedules 2021 Summer ARTventures