Veterans recognized at Monday ceremony

  • DAV Commander Doug Wayne pauses Monday to remember Rabun County's military veterans.
    DAV Commander Doug Wayne pauses Monday to remember Rabun County's military veterans.

CLAYTON— On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, an armistice was signed to end WWI.

Rabun County honored that day at 11 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 11 in a Veterans Day Ceremony held at the Rabun County Courthouse.

Doug Wayne, commander DAV Chapter 15, welcomed a crowd of Rabun County residents who showed support to veterans and discussed the importance of Veterans Day.

“Freedom loving citizens made a nation,” Wayne said in his remarks.

Wayne said that it is important to remember that men and women “have shed blood in order to protect that freedom” and the purpose of Veterans Day and the ceremony is to honor those who protect our freedoms.

The flag was raised and lowered to half mast at the beginning of the ceremony and the National Anthem and Pledge of Allegiance were recited.

Greg Funkhouser sang an original song in honor of Veterans Day titled “Thank you for answering the call.”

He told veterans in attendance that he appreciates their service to the country.

“As veterans, you chose to do something that most of us chose not to do or couldn’t do,” Funkhouser said.

Funkhouser recited “those who serve our country deserve our gratitude and pride” in his song lyrics.

“That’s something no one can take away from you,” Funkhouser said about a veteran’s service.

Jim Morgan, senior vice commander of the DAV Chapter 15, gave a brief overview of the history of Veterans Day.

He began by explaining that there is an important distinction between Memorial Day and Veterans Day, and how they should not be confused.

“That’s for our fallen brothers and sisters,” Morgan said about Memorial Day.

“This (Veterans Day) is about those who answered the call,” Morgan said. “[It’s] an opportunity to celebrate the bravery and sacrifice of all United States veterans.”

Veterans Day began as Armistice Day “to honor the end of WWI,” Morgan explained. An armistice was signed between allies and Germany on Nov. 11, 1918

The federal legal holiday was observed on the fourth Monday in October during the mid-1970s, but in 1978 reverted to Nov. 11.

On August 4, 2001 the days of November 11-17 were designated as “National Veterans Awareness Week,” Morgan explained.

Barbara Green and Jenn Morgan laid a wreath during the ceremony that was donated by Apple Blossom Florists.

Speakers at the ceremony talked about the importance of supporting veterans through veteran service organizations, such as Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), the American Legion and Marine Corps, among others.  This is to ensure that those currently serving will have the same resources available to them when they leave the military.

“It does not and should not take an act of congress to appreciate what our veterans have done,” one speaker said. The message was that is important to serve here at home.

Veterans demonstrated how to fold an American flag while Wayne explained what each of the folds mean.

Rev. Kenneth Franklin, of DAV chapter 15, gave the benediction and said that those who have served in the military should feel pride in their heart for having done so.

Franklin said that he hopes veterans and people living in this country “feel a sense of pride in the fact that we are Americans.”