DeKalb Countians Gather to "Remember" on Memorial Day

May 31, 2010
by: 
Dwayne Page
Ronnie Redmon of American Legion POST 122 and Edward Frazier of VFW POST 7623 La
Fred VanHook (left), Donald Owens (center), Edward Frazier (right)
Colton Rhody blows TAPS

A group of patriotic citizens joined members of the American Legion POST 122 and the Veterans of Foreign Wars POST 7623 in remembering those who have died in our nation's service during a Memorial Day program Monday morning at the 303 building downtown Smithville.

The service featured gospel and patriotic music by Fred VanHook and the Harmoneers, poems by VanHook and Susan Hinton, a rendition of the Star Spangled Banner by Luke Willoughby, an opening prayer by Chuck Olson, Doyle Smith leading the group in the Pledge of Allegiance and remarks by the guest speaker, minister Donald Owens. "This nation of ours has never known anything but wars. We're now involved and engaged in Iraq and Afghanistan. I don't have all the answers to it but ladies and gentlemen if we get that settled then it won't be the end of it (war). There'll be another. And if time goes on there'll be another. There are people who hate us (Americans). They hate our way of life. They hate our freedom. They hate our smiles. They hate our happiness. They hate our luxurious life that we live and they're not going to stop. They're not going to give up. So just dig in deep and say "it's worth fighting for". I'm grateful, humbled, and thankful for all those who have served and I'm grateful and thankful for those who paid the supreme sacrifice. It cost a lot of fathers and mothers their sons and daughters. It cost a lot of wives their husbands. It cost a lot of children their fathers. I want to do my part to make this country what it should be for those who follow after me so that those who pay the supreme sacrifice someday will know that the sacrifice that they paid was worth it for those who followed after them. God bless America."

The following poem was read by Susan Hinton in tribute to our veterans:

"It is the VETERAN , not the preacher,
who has given us freedom of religion.

It is the VETERAN , not the reporter,
who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the VETERAN, not the poet,
who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the VETERAN, not the campus organizer,
who has given us freedom to assemble.

It is the VETERAN , not the lawyer,
who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the VETERAN , not the politician,
Who has given us! the right to vote.

It is the VETERAN,
who salutes the Flag.

It is the VETERAN,
who serves under the Flag,

God Bless them All"

The following poem was also read by Susan Hinton:

"Red for the blood shed in the name of Freedom

For which we fought united

Blue for the oceans of time we have crossed

Remaining the land of the free

White for the peace we wish to share

All men created equal

Stars to remember those who fought

Throughout the night bravely for our land

Stripes to remind us of the lashings

Taken by the Prisoners of War

With a seal, in God We Trust

We each are one of many in which we stand

United in Brotherhood, a symbol of Pride

A salute to those who died in the fight

A blanket to cover us in times of need

Waving high to show we are still here, undefeated

With honor you are presented to the world."

Fred VanHook recited a poem called "That Ragged Old Flag"

"I walked through a county courthouse square

On a park bench, an old man was sittin there.

I said, "Your court house is kinda run down,

He said, "No, it will do for our little town".

I said "your old flag pole kinda leaned a little bit,

And that's a ragged old flag you got hanging on it".

He said "have a seat", so I sat down,

He said, "is this your first visit to our little town"

I said, "I think it is"

He said "I don't like to brag, but we're kinda proud of

"That Ragged Old Flag"

"You see, we got a little hole in that flag there,

When Washington took it across the Delaware.

It got powder burned the night Francis Scott Key sat watching it, writing

"Oh Say Can You See"

It got a rip in New Orleans, with Packingham & Jackson

tugging at its seams.

It almost fell at the Alamo beside the Texas flag,

But she waved on tho.

It got cut with a sword in Chancellorsville,

Got cut again at Shiloh Hill.

There was Robert E. Lee and Beauregard and Bragg,

And the south wind blew hard on

"That Ragged Old Flag"

On Flanders Field in World War I,

She took a bad hit from a Bertha Gun,

She turned blood red in World War II

She hung limp and low by the time that one was through,

She was in Korea, Vietnam, She went where she was sent

by her Uncle Sam.

She's been over to the Gulf to fight Saddam

And now as you know, she's over in Afghanistan

She's waved from our ships on the briney foam

But they've just about quit waving her here at home

And here in her own good land,

She's been abused, burned, dishonored, denied and refused,

And the very government for which she stands

Has been scandalized throughout out the land.

And she's getting thread bare, and she's wearing kinda thin,

But she's in pretty good shape, for the shape she's in.

So we raise her up every morning

And we bring her down slow every night,

We don't let her touch the ground,

And we fold her up right.

On second thought
I do like to brag

Cause I'm mighty proud of

"That Ragged Old Flag"

At the conclusion of the program, a wreath was laid at the veterans memorial monument on the south side of the courthouse, placed there by Ronnie Redmon of the American Legion POST 122 and Commander Edward Frazier of the VFW POST 7623

Colton Rhody then blew TAPS on his trumpet to close out the program.

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