By CHRIS AGEE
Mineral Wells honored its many local veterans Monday morning at Ram Stadium.
Veterans, residents and students from across the county filled the stands for the 30th annual Veterans Day Remembrance Program.
For many of the honored guests, the most meaningful aspect of the event is its inclusion of the next generation.
“It means a lot,” said Lewis Logan, who served with the Navy Seabees. “I’m glad they’re doing this; maybe the kids are learning what we went through.”
Marine Corps veteran Michael Crites said the program has a “bittersweet taste,” explaining the show of gratitude from the community “helps heal some of the wounds.”
He said he is optimistic about the youth’s involvement in the event.
“I’m glad young kids are beginning to learn what servicemen and women went through so they can have their freedom,” he said.
“This event thrills me,” said Navy veteran Ray Frakes. “I come every year.”
In addition to the opportunity to “see some old shipmates,” Frakes said seeing local students interested in the armed services is what he enjoys most about the program.
“You’d be surprised by the kids that come by and say, ‘Thank you,’” he said.
The event’s master of ceremonies, retired Army Lt. Col. Robert C. Evans, began with a brief history of Veterans Day before sharing why American soldiers are unique.
“For the most part, they’ve all been citizen soldiers,” he said. “Whether by choice or draft, they ended up in the military.”
He said one common trait made the veterans of American wars special.
“They knew the difference between right and wrong,” he said, noting they risked their lives to protect liberty at home and abroad.
He applauded Monday’s program for bringing veterans and area youth together, explaining he first attended the remembrance program as a student and has returned as often as possible since.
Following entertainment presentations by students from local schools, retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Richard E. “Tex” Brown III addressed the crowd.
The guest speaker, a longtime Mineral Wells resident, said Mineral Wells “has always been one of the most patriotic cities in America,” a distinction for which he credits the Fort Wolters military training base.
Brown built on Evan’s comments, sharing the origin of Veterans Day.
Originally called Armistice Day, he said, the designation commemorated the end of World War I with a treaty signed on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918.
The war was then believed to be “the war to end all wars,” Brown said, “but we know that’s not the way it turned out.”
He then led the crowd through subsequent wars, beginning by honoring the World War II veterans in attendance, calling them “part of the greatest generation of Americans.”
Continuing through the Korean War and his generation’s war, Vietnam, Brown explained the significance of certain other dates in American history.
Nov. 22, 1963, was “the day our president was shot and killed maybe 100 miles from where we are now,” he said. Almost 16 years later, he said another date proved the resolve of American forces.
On the day the Berlin Wall fell, Nov. 9, 1989, Brown said he was stationed in Europe.
“At that moment, everything stood still,” he said, as individuals across Europe realized “that was the end of the Cold War.”
The nation would soon enter a long war in the Middle East, he said, which American troops are still fighting today.
Terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, brought that war to our shores, he said.
Brown ended with a quote from English economist and philosopher John Stuart Mill: “War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which things that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.”
American veterans, he said, prove they have a cause for which they will fight.
“We have a reason to fight,” he said. “We fight for freedom.”
Thousands attend 30th annual Veterans Day Remembrance Program at Ram Stadium
By CHRIS AGEE
- Top Stories
Electrical system fault cited as cause of sausage plant blaze
PALO PINTO COUNTY – Investigators have determined that a fault in the electrical system caused last month’s fire that ravaged the warehouse of the Kennedy Sausage plant off Interstate 20 and U.S. Highway 281 South, said Palo Pinto County Fire Marshal Buddy Harwell.
Training to begin for CASA child advocates
Although National Child Abuse prevention month is quickly coming to a close, the fight against child abuse is far from won.
S-TEC now piloted locally
Roger Smith, CEO of Genesys Aerosystems, and his management team, saw a great opportunity for growth with the acquisition through a managed buyout of Chelton Flight Systems Inc. and S-TEC Corporation, doing business as Cobham Avionics, from Cobham.
Rains bring end to burn ban – for now
PALO PINTO – Weekend rains led Palo Pinto County Judge David Nicklas on Tuesday to temporarily lift the countywide burn ban.
Paperclip invented locally?
It is a staple of the office – the paper clip, a simple but elegant tool, a couple of bends of thin wire that helps keep us organized.
New bat sanctuary to be ready in June
Sometime around June, area bats will have a new place to hang out.
David May named Index general manager-editor
David May, a veteran newspaper executive who served 10-½ years as editor of the Mineral Wells Index, has been appointed general manager and editor of the newspaper, effective immediately.
Social media part of PD’s varied arsenal
Criminals seem to like bragging online of their misdeeds.
Safe, but not home yet
"Physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come... Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity." – 1 Timothy 4:6 and 12.
Baker 4B town hall meet set
For those on the fence about the 4B election coming up on May 10, the Mineral Wells Chamber of Commerce is hosting a “townhall” meeting on April 22, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Mineral Wells High School in the cafeteria.
- More Top Stories Headlines
- Electrical system fault cited as cause of sausage plant blaze