BOWLING GREEN—Members of the VFW and Auxiliary held a ceremony at the War Memorial on the lawn of the Pike County Courthouse Thursday morning to honor all veterans.
Even in the cold wind, the men and women of the VFW and Auxiliary stood tall. They opened the ceremony with a prayer for all members of the service; those currently serving and those who have served. The featured speaker this year was Bowling Green R-I School Superintendent Matt Frederickson. He served in and retired from the U.S. Army.
In his remarks to those who came to pay their respects to veterans, he said, “Today, we celebrate Veterans Day, and honor the 25 million Americans, living Americans, who have served in our Armed Forces.
“Veterans Day is an opportunity to honor our veterans for their love of country and the sacrifices that our service members and their families have made in order to keep America safe.
“As we pause to remember the many sacrifices made by our veterans and their families, we must never forget the high cost of freedom.
“The dedication of those who serve or have served in our armed forces is an inspiration to all who love our nation and its freedoms.
We can never repay our veterans, but we must continue to fight to see that they receive the recognition they deserve. With dwindling percentages of those who have served, we have to work to build awareness.
“So, what can each person do?
“We can all make a difference with our individual acts. And it is important that we act. It is important that hose of us who understand d the importance of our history, who understand the importance of our military, who understand the importance of the value of our military—that we act to help re-connect the American people to the American soldier, sailor and airman.
“You can spread the word, one-on-one with your fellow citizens. If you are a veteran, share your own stories. Or become an oral historian yourself and collect the other soldiers’ stories. Write them down and spread the word. Share soldier stories with family, friends, coworkers and neighbors. Encourage veterans you know to share their stories. Emphasize the relationship between the nation’s values and the core values of serving.
“What is it that inspires and enables ordinary citizens to rise to the challenge of battle, to be willing to make the ultimate sacrifice of their lives in service to their country? What is it that motivates them to respond and contribute wherever and whenever called upon to do so?
“The answer if values. And our increasingly entitled populace would do well to learn from these values. The proud legacy of our Army—and our country—is grounded in these core values: loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage.
“Loyalty means to bear true faith and allegiance. Duty means to fulfill your obligations. Respect means to treat people as they should be treated. Selfless service means to put the welfare of others before your own. Honor means to live up to these values. Integrity means to do what’s right, legally and morally. Personal courage means to face fear, danger or adversity whether physical or mental.
“We in this country owe a great debt of gratitude to those who sacrificed to serve, exhibiting these values, so that we could live free.
“We can start to pay that debt by not forgetting, by remembering what they did and what they stood for.
“God bless you all for being here, God bless our veterans, and God bless America.”
After Frederickson spoke, the VFW fired a gun salute, and concluded the ceremony with another prayer.