Suwannee Democrat

Jasper News

November 13, 2012

Veterans Day services in Jasper-pics and video included

Jasper — This year’s Veterans Day service in Jasper drew a large crowd to the Hamilton County Courthouse lawn on Monday, Nov. 12 to pay tribute to our nation’s veterans and especially those residing in the county. Former Veterans Service Officer Bo Beauchemin was the master of ceremonies and he introduced Pastor Johnny Brown who gave the invocation.

The Hamilton County High School AFJROTC did a superb job displaying the Colors and leading the Pledge of Allegiance, while Steven Troy sang an a cappella version of the National Anthem.

Guest speaker was the newly inducted Veterans Service Officer SGM Clay Lambert USMC Retired, who spoke for about 10 minutes on past and present wars and saluted all the veterans of each.

Lambert is a native of Hamilton County and was raised in Jennings. He served with the U.S. Marine Corps for 28 years, including during the first Gulf War with the liberation of Kuwait, and three separate tours in Iran. He just retired from the Marine Corps in March of this year.

He said during his speech, “Most recently, the young men and women today fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, I can tell you, they are doing a magnificent job. Those are young men and women that a couple years ago they had their music too loud, driving too fast through town, and Sheriff Reid was probably chasing them down the road somewhere,” he added, which drew laughter from the crowd.

Those same type of men and women, he said, have answered the call now.

Lamar Royals said, “We’re proud to have Clay Lambert back in our community and I think he’s going to be a great asset in the future of this great organization that we know as the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Veterans of America.”

Each year on Veterans Day VFW Post 8095 honors someone special in the community and this year they gave special recognition to Ms. Ruby Shaw of White Springs by presenting her with a plaque that states: Appreciation Award presented to Ruby Shaw for meritorious and distinguished service in furthering the aims and ideals of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States by VFW Post 8095. Nov. 11, 2012.

To Ms. Shaw, Royals said, “I think our community is well blessed to have someone of your stature representing this great county of ours.”

The program continued with the placement of a wreath at the veterans memorial on the courthouse lawn, and then Pastor Roger Hutto played a solemn bugle rendition of TAPS.

Beauchemin gave closing comments and noted some important dates in our country’s history.

Veterans Day, he said, began on Nov. 11, 1919 when President Wilson proclaimed it as Armistice Day to honor the heroism of those in the military who died serving the country.

“The original concept of the celebration was for business to be suspended for a two minute period beginning at eleven o’clock,” said Beauchemin. “That was back in 1919.”

In 1921, he said, Congress passed legislation approving the establishment of The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Then in 1926 Congress adopted a resolution directing the president to issue an annual proclamation calling on the observance of Armistice Day.

“Throughout the 20s and 30s most states established November 11 as a legal holiday,” he said.

“In 1938 Congress passed legislation on May 13 making November 11th a federal holiday. They called it Armistice Day.”

Then in 1954, at the urging of the Veterans Service Organization, President Eisenhower signed legislation changing the name of the legal holiday to Veterans Day.

There was one slight interruption to the day’s ceremonies when four members of the HCHS AFJROTC had to be treated by Hamilton County Fire/Rescue when they collapsed, most likely due to locking their knees while standing at attention for such a long period of time, which interrupts blood flow, as well as from being overheated in their uniforms, according to officials. Rescue personnel arrived immediately to check them out and after offering them water and periodically checking their vitals all the students were deemed to be fine.

There are more photos online and photos are available for purchase. Go to suwanneedemocrat.com (or nflaonline.com) and click the photo gallery link on the left navigation bar.

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