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Veterans honored at Heritage Hall

By Billy Ward
On Tuesday, November 11 the citizens of Johnson County gathered to honor the men and women of the armed forces. Attendees at Heritage Hall and those listening to a live broadcast of the annual Veterans Day memorial on WMCT Radio were treated with an impressive program of songs, speeches, and pageantry.
On November 11, at 11:00 am in 1918 an armistice ending the hostilities between Germany and the Allied nations signaled the end of World War I. Though it would be several years before America officially recognized the end of “The Great War” in 1919, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11 of that year would mark the first commemoration of Armistice Day: “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory. . . “ However, by 1954 the United States had been engaged in multiple military conflicts around the globe and a second world war. Veterans’ service organizations petitioned congress to strike out the word “Armistice” and insert “Veterans” recognizing November 11 as a day to honor all the men and women who had served in the armed forces.
Johnson County continues this almost century long tradition and on Tuesday, November 11, at 11:00 am Heritage Hall hosted a full house of young and old taking time from their day to honor the country’s veterans. County, city, and state officials along with singers and choir directors lined the stage. Opening remarks were made by Master of Ceremonies Air Force Veteran and Commander of the Johnson County Honor Guard, Richard Dionne. The Honor Guard played an active role throughout the program honoring their fellow veterans and those currently serving. The National Anthem was performed by Nancy Davis who later directed the Johnson County Middle School Singers in well performed renditions of “America” and “On Veterans Day.” Music was also provided by Army Veteran Kerry Gentry who sang the Civil War era tune “When Johnny Comes Marching Home” as well as a version of “God Bless the USA” in which he was joined on the chorus by a standing and singing audience.
For the rest of the story pick up a copy of this week's Tomahawk.