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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Community salutes our veterans

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

"There is nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer" -- Lt. Col James H. Doolittle, World War II

Dyer County gathered together on Monday to honor our country's greatest volunteers: our military veterans. Our service men and women were recognized for the hardships their families endure and the sacrifices they make on a daily basis during the annual Veterans Day service and parade.

"We need to remember our troops 365 days a year," said Dyersburg Mayor John Holden during the invocation.

Veteran's Day was first observed as Armistice Day, the day marking the end of World War I, more commonly known during that time as "The Great War" or "the war to end all wars". On Nov. 11, 1918 the Germans agreed to terms with the Allies to end the fighting. Allied nations marked the joyous occasion with celebrations in the streets after more than four years of fighting and an estimated 9 million soldiers killed.

On Nov. 11, 1919, President Woodrow Wilson commemorated the first anniversary of Armistice Day with a moment of silence at 11 a.m. (the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month). In 1921, on the second observance of Armistice Day, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery was dedicated, with the first remains laid to rest. Congress finally made Armistice Day into a legal federal holiday in 1938 and President Dwight D. Eisenhower changed the name of the holiday to Veterans Day in 1954. Although briefly celebrated in the early 1970s on the fourth Monday in October, today Veterans Day is celebrated on Nov. 11 no matter what day of the week it falls.

Dyer County came together on Monday morning to recognize our local veterans, some whom served as far back as World War II. Some veterans were treated to a trailer ride as residents in attendance honored their service.
John Stacey, a Navy veteran, gave the keynote address at the annual Veterans Day Service on Monday morning. Stacey took his inspiration for the address from a memoir written by a former teacher of his, 'As I Remember It' recounting his recollection of the last 60-plus years of war.
However, with the holiday falling on a Sunday this year, the traditional Veterans Day festivities were instead held on Monday. John Stacey delivered the keynote address drawing inspiration from a memoir written by a former teacher of his titled, "As I Remember It". Stacey, who was born two months after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, outlined his observations on the various wars our country has fought "as he remembered it". Enlisting in the United States Navy at the age of 17, Stacey served at the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis and watched his son deploy during the first war in Iraq as a sailor on the USS Midway.

Stacey says that veterans today have the appreciation of a grateful nation. In celebration that nation cares for its wounded warriors, created the GI Bill, has built hospitals and rehabilitation facilities for our veterans and has set aside one day each year to recognize the service our veterans do.

"Our nation may not be what it should be but it is the best nation that there ever will be," said Stacey.

Stacey concluded by saying that the enemies of America should come to Dyer County and they will be shown not only what veterans and American citizens can do but will do.

"We will still fight to the death for our families, our community, our state and our great nation to protect our liberties," said Stacey to tumultuous applause.

After Stacey's rousing speech, all eyes turned toward the annual parade that included the Dyer County High School Jr. ROTC, the Dyer County High School marching band, the Dyersburg High School marching band, Boys Scout Troops, Girls Scouts, Cub Scouts, the Dyersburg Fire Department, the Dyer County Fire Department, the Dyersburg Police Department, Dyer County Sheriff's Department and the Disabled Veterans of America.

Of course the stars of the parade were our local veterans who braved the cold temperatures and a gusty wind to be saluted by residents both young and old. After the parade festivities, veterans gathered at the Dyersburg National Guard Armory for a special lunch sponsored by the American Legion Post No. 30, American Legion Post No. 191, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 1972 and Disable American Veterans Chapter 46. During the lunch, veterans continued to reminisce about their days in the service connecting with old friends and in some cases new friends as they swapped stories from another time in their lives.

For more photos on the Veterans Day celebration please visit our photo galleries.

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