Over 100 people gathered at Warren County Memorial Airport on Monday morning to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country.
“It’s important to remember to pay tribute to the 1.3 million Americans who lost their lives defending our freedom,” said keynote speaker retired U.S. Major Gen. David L. Evans, the Wartrace resident speaking as both a Gulf War veteran and as a Tennessean with local ties to Warren County.
Evans noted he has felt the loss of relatives to war as his lineage in the military traces back to his fifth grandfather who served as a lieutenant in the Revolutionary War.
Along with those who have fallen, Evans said it is important to thank those who survive and have served their country in the armed forces, whether it was in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf Wars or peacekeeping efforts, many of which have been hazardous duty.
“We owe them a debt of gratitude,” Evans noted.
Evans said those who lost their lives in service to their country were people who refused to sit by a let others do the work for them.
“Instead of taking the easy path, they stepped forward with a full understanding of the risk they were taking,” Evans declared. “For the love of country, they accepted death.”
Evans said the inherent danger faced by those who have served their country makes for a bond that will never be broken.
“We are truly a band of brothers who share a bond,” Evans said. “We came from all across our nation.”
Evans was joined in the event by Rev. Jeff Page of Locust Street Church of God, who said the opening prayer, master of ceremonies County Executive Hershel Wells, “The Pledge of Allegiance” by Jeff Killian, “The Star Spangled Banner” by Mary Richardson, the reading of the war dead by Chris O’Connor of VFW Post 5064 and “Taps” played by Johnny Banks.