Salute

Salute to Vet­er­ans Com­mu­nity cel­e­brates those who served dur­ing an­nual event

Texarkana Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - By Greg Bischof

The sight of Amer­i­can flags flut­ter­ing in the cool breeze and sun­shine through­out Texarkana on Fri­day af­ter­noon pro­vided a great rea­son to cel­e­brate and honor those who sac­ri­fice to keep Amer­ica free.

The good weather prompted hun­dreds of vet­er­ans and their spouses to flock into Wil­liams Me­mo­rial United Methodist Church to share tales about mil­i­tary ex­pe­ri­ences and lis­ten to live pa­tri­otic mu­sic dur­ing the 19th an­nual Salute to Vet­er­ans re­cep­tion.

“With the sun shin­ing and the wind blow­ing, it’s sure great to see the U.S. flags fly­ing all over our city,” Texarkana Gazette Ed­i­tor Les Mi­nor said as he then took spe­cial note of the sound of taps be­ing played by lo­cal bu­gler John Ry­den.

“The sound of John per­form­ing taps is very beau­ti­ful and very res­onat­ing,” Mi­nor said. “Next year will be our 20th an­nual re­cep­tion, and Sun­day will be Vet­er­ans Day with sev­eral com­mem­o­ra­tive ser­vices tak­ing place here in town. We all ap­pre­ci­ate your ser­vice to our coun­try very much.”

Even though her hus­band passed away, Chris B. Terry, a Korean War Vet­eran’s spouse, said she still loves com­ing to the re­cep­tions.

“I love get­ting to see a lot of the peo­ple I know,” she said. “This is a real good en­vi­ron­ment and we are all here for a very good rea­son.”

Korean War Vet­eran Leo El­der said the oc­ca­sion pro­vides him a chance every year to see peo­ple he hasn’t seen all year, and his wife, Gle­nea, said the re­cep­tion warms her heart.

“It es­pe­cially makes my heart feel good to see all these men and women who kept our coun­try safe,” she said.

Viet­nam Vet­eran Larry David said it en­cour­ages him to lis­ten to sto­ries from older vet­er­ans.

“I would like to thank our World War II vet­er­ans be­cause they saved the world and that gave me a chance to serve, too,” he said.

Staff photo by Hunt Mercier

■ De­bra Con­ley waves an Amer­i­can flag Fri­day dur­ing the 19th an­nual Salute to Vet­er­ans while Eric Shipp, not pic­tured, sings “God Bless Amer­ica” at Wil­liams Me­mo­rial Methodist Church in Texarkana, Texas.

Staff photo by Hunt Mercier

■ Law­ton Webb looks at mem­o­ra­bilia from wars dur­ing the 19th an­nual Salute to Vet­er­ans at Wil­liams Me­mo­rial Methodist Church.

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