Friday, Nov. 11 was an important day in Lafayette County as veterans were joined by others to observe nationally celebrated Veterans Day.

John D. Horton, Commander at American Legion Post 105 acted as Master of Ceremonies for the day that had its first official ceremony at OakRidge Assisted Living.

Residents, staff and visitors filled the dining room at OakRidge as the program got underway with the welcome by Horton, the posting of the colors carried out by the Color Guard (W.T. Atwell and Kenny McCray) followed by the Pledge of Allegiance by everyone assisted by Mayo Cub Scout Pack 334, and the invocation given by veteran W.G. Croft, Jr.

A moment of silence was taken to honor fallen soldiers before four residents of OakRidge, Ester Daugerty, Irving Waltzer, Claude Wood and Clarita Rice, were given recognition for their contribution to America's freedom while serving in the military.

From OakRidge, Post 105 and Cub Scouts traveled to Lafayette County Courthouse for the yearly Veterans Day observance on the 11th month, the 11th day and the 11th hour held on the courthouse lawn.

After the Posting of the Colors by the Color Guard, the same format, welcome, prayer, and Pledge of Allegiance, was followed by American Legion Post 105.

The small turnout of residents did not affect the genuine show of patriotism exhibited by those in attendance, nor by those who presented honor to our military, those serving now and those who distinguished themselves while in service.

Milton E. (Angie) Ceraso gave a timely

tribute to those honored, past and present, for their dedication and sacrifices in protecting our freedom.

Ceraso said, "It is difficult to imagine what the United States would be like if we did not have those who were willing to fight to protect our freedoms."

Ceraso said this country has been blessed by generations of brave men and women who sacrifice....even their lives.... so that their fellow Americans might continue to enjoy the fruits of liberty.

"Needless to say, if they do not answer the nation's call, this world would be a very different place," he said.

Ceraso said the national tribute traces its roots to one of our nation's greatest conflicts when in 1918, on Nov. 11 at 11 a.m. the guns fell silent, signaling the end of World War I. In 1919 President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Nov. 11 as Armistice Day, on Nov. of 1921 the remains of the Unknown American soldier was laid to rest in Arlington Cemetery and in 1938 Congress approved an act making Armistice Day a legal holiday honoring WWI veterans.

Finally, in 1954, at the urging of service organizations such as the American Legion, Congress amended the Act of 1938, replacing the word Armistice with Veteran, thus honoring veterans of all wars.

Ceraso said, "We are an indebted nation, what we owe, we can never repay, but we can honor the sacrifices made daily from military around the world as they are, at this moment in time fighting in a war on distant shores."

"By keeping faith with them, we honor them in our thoughts, our prayers and our hearts, not only today, but in all the days to come," Ceraso concluded.

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