Springs hon­ours its mil­i­tary vic­tims

Aussies pause to hon­our lives lost in wars, con­flicts

Sunday Tribune - - FRONT PAGE -

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

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