The ceremony in remembrance of veterans and members of the Armed Forces was a touching and meaningful display with Charles Bopp, Vice-Chairman of Pulaski County Board of Supervisors, leading the event as emcee. Citizens were encouraged to come enjoy the festivities and share donations for veterans at the VA Hospital in Salem.
An invocation given by Mike Coleman, pastor of Max Creek Baptist Church, at the start of the program, was followed by a performance of the National Anthem, sung by Ty Kirkner. Young gentlemen from Jr. ROTC Civil Air Patrol Color Guard from Roanoke raised the flag as he sang.
The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Cub Scout Troop 143, assisted by Christy Underwood.
Veterans were then introduced. Among veterans in attendance were VFW Post 1184 Commander Jackie Bess, American Legion Post 7 Commander Carolyn “Scout” Whitaker, Korean War Veterans representative Claude Newman, AMVETS Commander Jim Ridpath, UAW Veterans Committee representative Mark Peterson, and 811th Army Ordinance of Dublin representative Robert Coleman.
Bobby Ward of VFW Post 1184 shared comments about patriotism with those in attendance. “To those moms and dads who sent their sons and daughters off to war and never saw them again,” Ward said, “there are no words to show our appreciation.” He was followed by a 21 gun salute by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1184.
Terrie Sutphin of AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary spoke in recognition of POW/MIA. She explained the significance of the table set out for those who served and never made it home. She stated the table has been set aside to honor our fellow Americans who cannot be present today. The empty place represents all those missing from each of the five branches of the military. The empty setting symbolizes their presence with us in spirit.
Sutphin was followed by Kirkner singing “God Bless America.” Bopp gave the closing remarks and all were welcomed inside the courthouse for refreshments and a tour of the exhibits on all three floors. The refreshments were served in the New River Room by the VFW Post 1184 Ladies Auxiliary.
People are encouraged to make donations for Christmas in July for veterans in the VA Hospital in Salem, Va. Please be sure any items you may donate do not contain any alcohol related ingredients. Selected items may be placed in a box or bag and brought to the County Treasurer’s office any time before July 12.