By Beth Cox
A soldier stood ready to greet all who attended this year’s Veterans Day ceremony at the entrance of Heritage Hall in Mountain City, TN, earlier this week.
Air Force Veteran and Past Commander of the American Legion, Robert Hensley, was chosen as the master of Ceremonies for the program. Hensley appropriately began his remarks explaining the history of
Veterans Day and paid special homage to the American Legion, which is celebrating one hundred years of serving veterans and communities.
Mountain City Mayor Kevin Parsons and Johnson
County Mayor Mike Taylor each presented to Commander Frank Bass a proclamation on behalf of the town of Mountain City and Johnson County stating the importance of the American Legion and proclaiming November 11 as American Legion Centennial Day commemorating the one hundredth anniversary of the American Legion and Mountain City’s Post 61.
Rep Timothy Hill spoke of the love and appreciation he and Johnson County have for the veterans stating, “We live in the greatest nation on earth, and God gave it to us through you, our veterans.” He adds, “I’m proud to be a part of the standard that you have set forward here in Johnson County.”
Senator Jon Lundberg also addressed the young people in the audience when he said, “look at the people in the audience and know the people you see were serving before you were born, they never met you, but they were serving because they knew you were coming.”
To follow up, Lundberg presented a coin to the oldest veteran in attendance, 99-year-old WWII veteran Hugh Edward Walker and shook the hand of 98-year-old WWII veteran Joseph Lipford as the audience rose to its feet filled with appreciation and respect for the two oldest veterans.
Local artist, Temple Reece honored the American Legion with a hand-painted picture of Johnson County’s American Legion Post 61. Reece presented the painting to Commander Bass, who promised that the painting would be displayed at the courthouse and city hall for a certain amount of time.
Specialist Frederick Green, who lost his life in the Fort Hood shooting, will be remembered by having the new bridge named in his honor as a reminder of his service and sacrifice.
The songs of both Nancy Davis and the Johnson County Children’s Choir under the direction of Mary Jo Thum gave both a patriotic and inspirational musical rendition of the pride shared by many in attendance.
The Johnson County Honor Guard and The Daughters of the American Revolution presented the wreath along with the music, TAPS, followed by a poignant tribute to all Johnson County veterans with service songs and service flags presentations.
The program signified the true essence of deep-rooted love, respect, and admiration for Johnson County’s past and present military personnel.