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Ceremony honors all veterans

Many brave frigid temps for November 12 observance at Courthouse

Madison County VFW Post 4320 honored those men and women serving past and present in the United States Armed Forces during a ceremony 11 a.m. Monday at the Madison County Courthouse.

County Clerk and Veteran Don Firebaugh opened the Ceremony thanking the crowd for attending despite the frigid temperatures. Firebaugh also commented on the POW/MIA empty chair. The chair represents soldiers lost in combat throughout this country’s conflicts.

“We will keep this going until, hopefully, the last POW/MIA is found or accounted for,” said Firebaugh.

The Guest Speaker at the ceremony was retired Navy Chief Petty Officer Bill Hart.

“As a veteran this day is an emotional one for those of us who have worn our nation’s uniforms,” said Hart. “On Veterans Day we are thankful for the nation we have served. We thank those who have gone before us and those who are serving today.”

Hart gave special thanks to the veterans of World War II, who he said are, “rapidly disappearing.”  He also made mention of the Korean Veterans present, describing that conflict as America’s forgotten war.

Lon Rehkop accepted a 60-year pin from the 4320 on behalf of his father, Elza Rehkop, who died in December.

Veterans Day pays tribute to all American veterans, living or dead, but especially gives thanks to living veterans who served their country honorably during war or peacetime.

President Woodrow Wilson declared Nov. 11, 1919 was a day to remember Americans for their military service in World War I. He called it Armistice Day. He suggested Americans celebrate with parades and perhaps a “brief suspension of business” around 11 a.m.

President Wilson also hoped it would be a time when Americans offered prayers of thanksgiving for those who had served and for peace for all times.

If November 11 falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the federal government observes the holiday on the previous Friday or following Monday, respectively.

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