Springs honours its military victims
Aussies pause to honour lives lost in wars, conflicts
SUTHERLAND SPRINGS: Veterans’ Day had special meaning this year in the small South Texas community where a church massacre occurred last weekend.
Nearly half of the victims had ties to the US air force and those with military backgrounds received a full military salute yesterday at the community hall, as Veterans’ Day was observed, said Alice Garcia, president of the Sutherland Springs Community Association.
Her husband and the association’s vice-president, Oscar Garcia, said they wanted to “honour those who had fallen, people killed in a moment after putting in years of military service”.
Devin Patrick Kelley killed 25 people, including a pregnant woman, in a shooting on November 5 at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs. He died of what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound after the massacre.
It was found he had ties to the air force, too, having been given a bad conduct discharge after pleading guilty to assaulting his then wife and her son.
Air force chief of staff General David Goldfein said 12 victims had direct connections to the air force, “either members or with family ties”. This included a retired couple who had met in the service more than 30 years ago.
On Thursday, a military funeral was held for Scott and Karen Marshall, both 56, at Joint Base San Antonio-randolph. – AP THE service of more than a million Australian servicemen and women was reflected yesterday as the country stopped for a minute’s silence to mark Remembrance Day.
The day marked 99 years since the signing of the Armistice with Germany that brought an end to World War I on November 11, 1918.
Veterans’ Affairs Minister Dan Tehan encouraged all Australians to take a minute, at 11am, to think of the 102 000 servicemen and women who lost their lives during wars, conflicts and peacekeeping missions.
“I encourage everyone to observe one minute’s silence today and to wear a red poppy to honour the memory of their service,” he said.
To mark this year’s 99th anniversary of the Armistice signing, Finance Minister Mathias Cormann delivered a commemorative address at the Australian War Memorial (AWM).
His speech was followed by a minute’s silence and a laying of floral tributes at the memorial’s Hall of Memory.
In Danang, Vietnam, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his New Zealand counterpart Jacinda Ardern took time out from their duties at the Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation summit to mark their respects.
The duo placed poppies on a table displaying the head wear of armed service members in a brief “private moment of reflection”.
“Today Australians and New Zealanders remember every Anzac serviceman and woman who has made a supreme sacrifice to keep our nations free,” Turnbull said.
“Anzac created an unbreakable bond between us and created a legend. We hold them dear in our hearts and minds.”
He said the horrors of the Western Front were never darker than when autumn turned to winter in 1917, with more than 6 800 dead in October alone.
Ardern said the anniversary was a deeply personal one for New Zealand, which sent 10% of its fledgling population to fight in World War I, and suffered the highest per capita rate of casualties.
“Few families were untouched, mine included,” Ardern said, adding New Zealanders placed a high premium on peace.
‘We owe it to all of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in war not to be complacent about the peace they gifted us.” – Daily Mail