Ceremony honors veterans

Published 9:20 am Thursday, November 17, 2016

Black and white, male and female. Old and not so old. One by one, they walked up and took a seat at the annual Veterans Day celebration coordinated by Lynn Byerly.

Some wore wrinkles from the ages of time, their World War II caps perched proudly on their heads. The Vietnam veterans aren’t so young any more, either.

But they came, just as they did so many years ago when they answered the call of their country. They did it because it was their duty. They did it because they love where they live, and want to keep it free.

No one had to tell them to stand as the American flag was presented. No one had to tell them to salute when the National Anthem was sung. They did it on their own, quickly looking for the American flag to face.

That patriotism was in the audience, as well, in the Davie High School wind ensemble members who played patriotic music, in the Scouts who had prepared gifts for the veterans, in the members of the Risen Son Quartet, who sang in praise of God and country.

And it was in Judge Jimmy Myers, a military chaplain himself, who was proud of his relatives who had served before him, a couple of whose names were on the wall in front of him – the wall that bears the names of all people from Davie County killed while serving in military conflict.

“I know a little bit about why we as a nation are as great as we are,” he said. “It’s because of the men and women before you today. They said ‘I will give my life for my nation.’ May we never forget.”

He pointed to that monument. “Because of men and women like them, we stand here today … in freedom. Lord, help America continue to be great because America is good.

“We all have a marvelous heritage because of those who have come before us,” Myers said.

Byerlycoordinates the ceremony yearly and also makes sure Davie students have a chance to participate in patriotic essay and poster contests. Those posters were displayed on a wall.

Bonnie Jo Taylor read her essay, based on respect. She mentioned the Pledge of Allegiance. “When you say it, do you mean it? When you mean it, you’re showing respect,” she said. “Respect our veterans and soldiers, because without them, we would not be here today.”

A song written by the late Tim Smith, which he read at the 2014 ceremony, was re-played.