Ceremony honors veterans

By Racey Burden | Published Wednesday, November 15, 2017

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Presenting the Colors

PRESENTING THE COLORS – The Naval Sea Cadets present the flags during the Veterans Day ceremony Saturday. Veterans of all ages from across the county were honored at the event. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Surviving World War II servicemen were honored Saturday during the Veterans Day ceremony at the Wise County Veterans Memorial Park in Decatur.

The Wise County Veterans Group (WCVG) and attendees recognized nine men who served in the military during World War II with a special performance of “God Bless the USA” sung by Rebecca Potter.

“You are the greatest generation,” said Rep. Kay Granger, who spoke at the event. “The things that you did and the sacrifices you made have kept our country together, and that’s what’s so important. We should never forget that.”

Granger then thanked the veterans of other wars and their families.

“The families also serve because they keep things together so that those who do come home will come home to their families,” Granger said.

Saying Hello

SAYING HELLO – Rep. Kay Granger spoke at the Veterans Day ceremony in Decatur Saturday. Afterwards, she visited with local veterans. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Granger went on to talk about two veterans she’s close to who served in Vietnam – her brother-in-law and fellow Texas Rep. Sam Johnson, who was a prisoner of war in North Vietnam for seven years. Granger traveled with Johnson when he and his wife visited the former prison camp, the Hanoi Hilton, where he was held for the first time after the war.

“He walked into the only cell that was remaining, and he closed his eyes and he walked back and forth and measured it. Then he walked across and measured it,” Granger said. “And then he said, ‘Yes, it’s exactly the same size as the cell I was in, because the times that I could get up then, I would walk.'”

Servicemen who returned from Vietnam were often treated poorly, Granger said, which is why she emphasizes honoring veterans today.

“We need to make sure they have what they need when they get home,” Granger said.

WCVG member Bob Johnson thanked local schools for holding several Veterans Day ceremonies.

“It was so refreshing to see the patriotism the children possess and that they’re being taught here in Wise County,” Johnson said.

Salute the Flag

SALUTE THE FLAG – A veteran salutes during the Pledge of Allegiance. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

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