GALLIPOLIS — In an effort to expand recognition services for veterans for the weekend preceding Veterans Day, local posts of the VFW and American Legion, along with managers at Walmart, staged a veterans recognition ceremony Saturday in front of Walmart.
Walmart comanager Matthew Lycans served as master of ceremonies for the event. Veteran Warren Kemper provided the invocation and Pledge of Allegiance.
The Gallia Academy Madrigals, under the direction of Marilyn Wills, performed the National Anthem, before the VFW Post #4464 led the firing squad salute and the performance of Taps.
After a short address by guest speaker Lewis Taylor and the reading by Lycans of a Presidential Proclamation honoring the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War, Bill Mangus, representing the VFW Post #4464, addressed those in attendance.
“Let us never forget this debt that we owe them. No government commission, no single dollar amount can adequately repay what has been given to all of us throughout our national history,” said Mangus.
“For many veterans, our nation was important enough to endure long separations from their families. They missed the births of their children. Freezing in sub-zero temperatures, baked in the wild jungles, they lost limbs, and far too often, lost their lives,” said Mangus. “Through their blood, service and sacrifice, veterans have given you freedom and security. It is impossible to put a price on that. We must remember. We must appreciate them.”
“God bless you all for being here. God bless our veterans, and God bless America,” concluded Mangus.
Following the event, those in attendance were invited to enjoy refreshments and write messages in honor of area veterans to be displayed at the American Legion Hall.