In Nov. 13-19 IssueBy Kim GrahamTimes Journal Reporter
"This is a special time of year when we get to honor the fallen and current serving military personnel," said Staff Sgt. Jerry Bray, from Russell County, who served twice in Iraq and was wounded in combat. "I was asked to put the wreath on the memorial."
November 11, 2008 marked 90 years since the end of WWI, as Veteran's Day was observed across America and in Jamestown.
"I'm proud of the country that I live in and I'm proud that I had the opportunity to serve my country," said Bobby Feese.
Feese, a Russell County resident, is a veteran of the Korean conflict who served in the U.S. Navy aboard the U.S.S. Heron, a minesweeper.
He said his twin brothers, Howard and Harold Feese, served in the U.S. Navy in WWII and they inspired him to follow in their footsteps in service to his country.
"We'd be in a heck of a mess without a good military," said Feese.
Hundreds gathered on the square in Jamestown to pay tribute to those who have served, those who continue to serve and those who gave their lives in service around the world in the U.S. armed forces.
"We have all received a tremendous gift from our veterans," said retired U.S. Navy Captain, Robert King in his address to the crowd. "Our veterans represent the best of America and they deserve the best America has to give."
He said military personnel set aside their personal interests for the common good of the people.
"I've always had a great respect for all in every branch of the service," said Arvis Stapp. "Tonight was very touching for me."
Stapp served in the U.S. Army in the Vietnam War.
For many veterans, the national holiday is a time to recall and honor the buddies they fought beside in battle.
"It makes me remember a lot of things and my friends that didn't make it back," said Paul Womack who served in the U.S. Army in the Korean conflict. "I said when I got out, if there was anything in this world I could do for veterans, I want to do it."
Both Womack and Stapp are members of the Russell County Disabled American Veterans Post 51.
Veterans Day brings to the forefront the faces of men and women who have put their lives on the line and in many cases, paid the ultimate price, to preserve our nation's freedom.
"Our great strength (as a country) has always been and always will be our people," said Capt. King. "We are not only the beneficiaries of their legacy. We are the trustees of their legacy."