Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

November 11, 2013

Saluting our veterans

By Janet Jacobs
Corsicana Daily Sun

Corsicana — Describing some of the hardships of trench warfare during World War I — men stuck for months on end in muddy, tight, rat-infested trenches, bombarded with mustard gas and shelling — Lt. Col. Monte Mackey (retired), said that Armistice Day, Nov. 11, 1918, was a revelation to the soldiers.

He spoke Monday at the annual Veteran’s Day event at the Navarro County Courthouse. About 60 people attended the ceremony.

After the silence of the guns fell at 11 a.m., officially ending the fighting of World War I, the soldiers climbed out of the trenches and ate together, celebrated, and slept in peace for the first time in years.

The hardships they endured are indicative of all wars, Mackey said.

“It’s right and fitting that the United States take a day,” to recognize the service of these men and women who have sacrificed for the country, Mackey said.

Mackey thanked those who had served, as well as their families.

In addition to his words, the ceremony also included prayers by the Rev. Rick Lamb of Northside Baptist Church; music by Zanada Schoppert, Taps performed by Les Grayson, and posting of the colors by the Navarro County Sheriff’s Honor Guard. Jackie Farmer, himself a Korean veteran, and one of the organizers of the event, led the pledge of allegiance.

At Dawson High School, the school’s National Honor Society hosted a Veteran’s Day observance featuring a 2010 graduate as the guest speaker.

Tyler Green, who just returned from Afghanistan in August after a nine month tour of duty, addressed the gathering of students, veterans and other guests, sharing his experiences and challenging students.

Green, 21, took advantage of the chance to earn college credit while at Dawson, and attended Texas A&M University for two years before joining the military. He was in Afghanistan from December 2012 through August 2013. He’s now back at A&M, and plans to graduate in 2014.

Green called for the audience to pray for those service men and women who remain in harm’s way today in service to their country, and for their families that stand behind them.

Green made mention of the often-repeated phrase that so many veterans hear — “Thank you for your service” — and gave some advice to graduates as a result of that statement.

“Be the best that you can be,” Green said, whether in academics, sports or other endeavors.

“If you really thank a service man or woman for risking their lives for this country,” Green said, “ ... take full advantage of the opportunities that you have.”

In addition to honoring Green, the NHS members also passed our certificates to many veterans in attendance at Monday’s event.

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Bob Belcher contributed to this story. Janet Jacobs may be reached by email at jjacobs@corsicanadailysun.com. Want to “Soundoff” on this story? Email: soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com