A good crowd turned out Monday morning for a special Memorial Day Celebration at the Veterans Memorial Monument outside at the courthouse.
Chase Ferrell gave a stirring rendition of the patriotic song \"God Bless the USA\" accompanied by pianist Susan Hinton and Dan Gulley, minister of the Smithville Church of Christ, delivered the Memorial Day address.
Gulley says the public's observance of Memorial Day has become rather nonchalant, but he is glad that there are citizens of our town who care enough to organize and carry on a special public ceremony. \" Since the birth of the United States of America on July 4th, 1776, no single generation of Americans has been spared the responsibility of defending freedom by force of arms. More than 42 million men and women have served in time of war and more than a million have helped purchase and maintain our freedom at the price of their lives. Also, of course, millions have served and continue to serve to preserve peace and freedom.\"
\"America's first President, George Washington said, ‘If we desire peace, it must be known that we are at all times ready for war'. Memorial Day is an opportunity for us to remember and pay respect and honor to the memory of the countless men and women who, while desiring peace, proved their full devotion to our democratic ideals, not only being ready for war, but by sacrificing their lives on the altar of freedom. The freedoms and values and way of life we hold so dear in our beloved land have been purchased and preserved literally by the blood, sweat, tears, and lives of those whom we seek to honor on this Memorial Day.\"
\"Traditional observance of Memorial Day has diminished over the years. The point is certainly not to knock family picnics, fun seeking and getting away from the stress and strain of a fast paced world. The point is our nation needs more, not less, events that enable us to celebrate shared values and express support for the ideals and virtues that have made our nation strong and free for 231 years.\"