Members of the community joined the American Legion Post #122 and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #7623 in a Veterans Day observance Wednesday morning downtown Smithville.
The days events began with a small parade followed by a program at the 303 building on the public square, featuring remarks by County Mayor Mike Foster, a poem saluting veterans by Dorothy Tittsworth, and music by the First Baptist Church Choir directed by Anthony Rosolowski.
Foster, in his address, spoke about all the nations wars and paid tribute to the brave men and women who have served our country. " We're here today to honor the Americans who served in all of the wars. We honor you and your families for the sacrifices and hardships that you endured. We especially honor those who gave their lives or were wounded during combat. People from all across the world seek to come here because we are truly blessed to live in America. We're free to live, raise our families, practice our religion, and speak our thoughts without fear. We're free to fail or succeed. And we're free to help people who are less fortunate than us."
" We still mourn many of our friends, ancestors and neighbors who died in wars long ago or last week. We see accounts of them and wonder what might have been and what talents or gifts died with those people. What undiscovered scientific cures might have been discovered. They might have invented some wonderful thing that would have made life better for all of us. Their lives were not wasted or lost without reason. They gave us more than any scientific breakthrough. They gave us the privilege of being able to live as an American in a country that is still clearly the best country on earth and the best hope for us as a people."
"We sometimes complain about our lot in life and how we've been dealt terrible blows but we're blessed with one of the highest standards of living in the world and we take for granted many things that others can only dream of. Honor our veterans and our ancestors by showing your love for America and our freedoms. Veterans Day is a special day for all Americans to show their respect to the veterans who have served our country so well. Unfortunately there will be more wars and more veterans to be honored. We should never fail to be open in our praise of them. Once our country commits its troops to battle we should support them unconditionally. Thanks to our veterans and their families for all the sacrifices you have made so that we may live free."
Tittsworth, noted local story teller, recited a poem by Joanna Fuchs called "They Did Their Share"
"On Veteran’s Day we honor
Soldiers who protect our nation.
For their service as our warriors,
They deserve our admiration.
Some of them were drafted;
Some were volunteers;
For some it was just yesterday;
For some it’s been many years;
In the jungle or the desert,
On land or on the sea,
They did whatever was assigned
To produce a victory.
Some came back; some didn’t.
They defended us everywhere.
Some saw combat; some rode a desk;
All of them did their share.
No matter what the duty,
For low pay and little glory,
These soldiers gave up normal lives,
For duties mundane and gory.
Let every veteran be honored;
Don’t let politics get in the way.
Without them, freedom would have died;
What they did, we can’t repay.
We owe so much to them,
Who kept us safe from terror,
So when we see a uniform,
Let’s say "thank you" to every wearer.
Following the program, a wreath was placed at the veterans memorial monument on the south side of the courthouse near the eternal flame. The wreath was laid by Edward Frazier, a World War II veteran, and Sean Tramel, who has just completed his second tour of duty in Iraq where he served as a corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps. A luncheon was held at noon for veterans and their spouses and friends at the Smithville Senior Center at city hall.