November 12, 2013

Soldiers honored on courthouse lawn

November 12, 2013 Staff Writer Cydney Baron

PRYOR, OK — On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, Pryor's Veterans’ Day parade ended with a ceremony at the county courthouse.

Pryor Elementary School students sang “I'm Proud to be an American” to the veterans. Some were in uniform and some were being held up by their sons, but all stood when the students began to sing, “And I’ll gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today, 'cause there ain't no doubt I love this land. God bless the USA.”

Rep. Ben Sherrer was the guest speaker.

“God Bless America,” Sherrer began to shouts of amen. “We can say it and these elementary kids can sing about, it because of you. It is an absolute pleasure to have a day to pause and thank you for your service.”

“When did Veterans’ Day become real for you?” Sherrer asked.

“Was it the day you enlisted or the day your deployed? Was it the day you saw a comrade fall? Was it the day you knew your loved one wasn't coming home? Was it visiting Arlington Cemetery or was it the running your hand over name after name on the Vietnam Memorial?”

Sherrer said no matter when it becomes real, Veterans’ Day is a reality that needs to be remembered every day. He said Americans need to make sure Veterans’ Day is real every day, for this generation and the next.

“In a speech, George Washington said our veterans should partake in the blessings they helped to secure,” said Sherrer. “And even our parade route today reminded me of those blessings.”

The parade began at a public school and traveled down a public roadway.

“The parade passed a church or two, reminding us of our religious freedom. On the parade route we saw police officers and firefighters,” Sherrer said. “And it ended here at the courthouse, a center of justice.”

He thanked the veterans for these blessings, all of which they helped to ensure for their country.

“Veterans, you didn't enlist for the pomp and circumstance. You answered a call from our country,” Sherrer concluded, saying the best way to honor this sacrifice is to live a life worthy of it.

Veteran Sam Ketcher spoke, saying Pryor Schools have had several students enlist in the military in the past year.

“It's good to see in Pryor, Oklahoma we've still got young men and women answering the nation's call. We're doing something right,” Ketcher said. “Let's be sure to promise their parents they will be in our prayers. Our parents went through it, now let's help theirs.”

The group bowed in prayer before the playing of “Taps” concluded the program.


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