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MOUNT VERNON — The Knox County Veterans Day Ceremony commenced on the Mount Vernon Public Square at 11 a.m. Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4027 Commander Ray McFadden presented the ceremony with posting of the colors by the Knox County Career Center Air Force JROTC cadets, invocation by Minister Ron Jewett, and the National Anthem by the Mount Vernon High School Band.
The placing of commemoratives was performed by the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) and the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). The DAR placed the Gold Star Mother’s Wreath followed by the VFW Ladies Auxiliary placing the Poppy Cross.
Dr. Rev. Lucian Baker of the U.S. Navy served as this year’s guest speaker. Baker speaks regularly to congregations, but said that speaking for veterans today was the first time he was nervous. Baker recalled his time as a military physician witnessing wounded soldiers and commemorated their sacrifices. He was proud to report that during his service every military member under his care made it to the next station.
Baker said he will always stand for the flag and also remembered the turbulent times of protests against the war and the military. People have a right to protest, Baker said, just like the military defends the right to protest through its service to the country and its freedom.
“That’s what we are about,” Baker said.
Jewett then delivered his benediction and encouraged the public to read the inscription on the soldiers’ monument in the center of the public square.
The statue was erected in honor of Knox County’s Union soldiers in the Civil War but Jewett stressed that its spirit and lesson still apply today.
The Latin inscription “Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori” loosely translates to “It is sweet and fitting to die for your country.”
Jewett’s speech remembered those who have and those who will give their lives in service of the country.
The ceremony concluded with taps by Carol McCutchen and bag pipes by Gary McCutchen.
A meal was held after the ceremony and the “Spirit of America’s Story, The Wall” exhibit was open to the public at the Knox County Memorial Building in the Veterans Hall.