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Johnson County comes together to honor our fallen countrymen



By:  Marlana Ward

Freelance Writer

As the sun shone down and a light breeze lifted red, white, and blue flags throughout Mountain City, families and neighbors came together at Ralph Stout Park to remember and honor our country‘s military servicemen and women.

Modern Woodmen of American featured youth and adult volunteers serving at the event to provide those in attendance with programs and small American flags as they took their seats by the park’s pavilion.

This year’s Master of Ceremonies was Air Force veteran and Johnson County Honor Guard member Robert Hensley.  Hensley welcomed all in attendance and began the proceedings by bringing attention to the Johnson County Honor Guard representatives as they brought forth the colors to be presented at the front of the stage.  Nancy Davis performed the national anthem as everyone stood in reverence to our country’s flag, anthem, and all they represent.  Pastor David Hankel of Roan Creek Baptist Church came forward to give the invocation.

Lindsey DeBord Yoggerst came to the podium to perform two patriotic selections.  As she entered into the last refrain of “God Bless the USA”, the crowd rose together to show solidarity in their appreciation and gratitude for all that had been given to make freedom possible.

Mountain City Mayor Lawrence Keeble addressed those gathered and shared his personal sentiments.  He shared stories family members who had served proudly in the armed forces and how their sacrifices while in service made him appreciate Memorial Day all the more.  Keeble also expressed his gratitude to be living in the greatest country in the world and for the greatest soldiers in the world who protect our freedoms.

Johnson County Mayor Larry Potter came to the microphone next to share his thoughts on Memorial Day.  He expressed thanks to the Iron Mountain Riders for their work on the patriotic display on the lawn of the Johnson County Courthouse.  While explaining his thankfulness to be living in America, Potter also reminded people of the necessity for continued vigilance in protecting freedom on our own soil.

Tennessee State Representative Timothy Hill took the stage next and echoed thankfulness to be living in the greatest nation on Earth.  Hill credited America’s greatness to two things.  The first was God and His blessings on our country followed by the great sacrifices our military men and women have made over the centuries to make our freedom possible.   Sandra Butler Kerney, representative of the Tennessee National Guard Auxiliary, came to the stage to present Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey a commemorative coin in recognition of his service to the people and veterans of Tennessee.   Ramsey addressed the crowd to speak of his gratitude to be able to celebrate Memorial Day with the people of Johnson County.  He spoke of our areas’ focus on priorities, the first being God and the second being family.  Ramsey also shared how one of the most memorable Memorial Day traditions he has ever experienced was the reading of the names of veterans who have passed away since the previous year’s gathering during each year‘s event in Mountain City.

To read the entire article, pick up a copy of this week’s Tomahawk.