Veterans Day, Nov 11, 2009, was a particularly poignant tribute to America’s veterans in light of the terrorist massacre at Fort Hood on Nov. 5th that left 13 military personnel dead. That such an event should take place on the Army’s premier base in the middle of a pro-military state like Texas made the massacre even more surreal. The memory of these 13 men & women were heavy on the hearts and minds of the 100 plus folks who gathered at the Mason County Veterans Memorial to honor America’s military men & women who are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to defend this great land.
Sterling Jordan, himself a WWII veteran and commander of The American Legion Fort Mason Post 285, officiated and read the list of those individuals currently serving in the Armed Forces with ties to Mason County. Sterling also read the names of the 13 brave soldiers killed at Fort Hood.
Crystal Lyons led the assembly in singing the Star-Spangled Banner and then sang three of the wonderful patriotic songs that she has written. Crystal’s performances always honor our country and our God and her beautiful voice frequently brings a tear to those listening.
The American Legion/VFW Honor Guard fired a 21-gun salute to their fellow comrades and Taps was played. As always, the loud report of the Post’s WWI bolt-action rifles rattled the windows ‘round the Square and startled the folks just driving through Mason at that moment. The Honor Guard, for this event, consisted of Mike Shanley, Lawrence Spell, Ed Farrell, Roger Luckenbach, Boone Kemp, Tom Koepke & Danny Sessum.
The program ended as it had begun, with a thoughtful prayer delivered by Pastor Dave Collett, First Baptist Church.
The members of The American Legion Fort Mason Post 285, VFW Post 8554 & the Ladies Auxiliaries would like to thank all those who came together to honor America’s veterans. Also, special thanks goes to the participants in the program, as well as to Darrell Watson for operating the PA system and to the Boy Scouts for the Color Guard. And, thanks to all the fine folks of Mason County, who do more than many to honor and support today’s veterans still serving. For God & Country!