By Sarrah Peters, News Editor
On Friday, November 11, Modern Woodmen of America and the City of Hokes Bluff held a Veterans Day Event at the Hokes Bluff Lions Club. This is the 3rd time the program has been held.
The event kicked off with the Etowah County Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard presenting the flag.
Pastor Chris Walker of Cross Creek Community Church led the group in an opening prayer.
Morgan Lavender of Modern Woodmen welcomed everyone to the event.
“We are here today to honor our heroes, to remember their achievements, dedication and to say thank you for their sacrifices,” said Lavender. “Thank you for answering the call to duty. You have made our armed forces the most respected in the world.”
The local Boy Scout troop handed out flags to the veterans in the crowd while Lavender spoke.
The Hokes Bluff High School Eagle Marching Band played the songs of each branch of service.
Mayor Scott Reeves awarded two local veterans, Herbert Buice and Charles Morgan, with the Hometown Heroes Award. Hokes Bluff natives and friends, the two joined the U.S. Air Force.
After traveling together while in the service, they both returned to Hokes Bluff and began to work at Goodyear. The two are active in their churches, local athletics and the community.
“They not only love our country, they love their family, they love their church family, they love their friends, they love Hokes Bluff and, above all, they love the Lord,” said Reeves.
Guest speaker Rick Vaughan spoke to the crowd.
“A veteran that serves in a war, he might not die over there, he might not come home missing an arm, he might not come home just the way he was when he left,” said Vaughn. “You’ve heard all the tales and all the stories about the Vietnam veterans and the Agent Orange and the Post Traumatic Stress. There is something about being an 18, 19 year old young man or young woman and when you look down the sight of that weapon and you see another human being there and in an instant you’ve got one choice to make. It’s either you or them. That will haunt you for the rest of your life. You have just lost a part of your heart and your soul and there is no way you can ever get it back. You have to learn to live with it.”
The Howlin’ Mad Smith Detachment of the Marine Corps League in Birmingham presented a re-enactment of the famous Iwo Jima picture of the American flag being raised.
After the ceremony, the Hokes Bluff Lion’s Club had a ribbon cutting for new markers installed by Modern Woodmen that honor the five military branches.
The crowd went inside after the ribbon cutting to enjoy food and drinks.