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I want to thank The Wilson Times for another year of professional coverage of the city of Wilson’s Veterans Day program. If not for your outstanding coverage, many of Wilson’s veterans who could not be in attendance would not be able to truly appreciate how much the city of Wilson appreciates how our veterans who’ve served our great nation in her defense are truly honored and thanked for their service. Thank you for your professional and excellent coverage of our program before, during and after. We salute you.
To the Honorable C. Bruce Rose, mayor of the city of Wilson, we thank you for your heartfelt welcome, your continued support of the Committee on Patriotism and the job you do for our city. And to the city clerk, Ms. Tonya West, and staff, thanks again for your awesome support! Thank you, city of Wilson Communications Department, for having Mr. Matt Shaw record our program. He does a truly professional job.
To our many program participants, you are the program and the reason for its success. Especially in having to endure no microphone service, you all would have done the U.S. Marines proud — you “improvised, adapted and overcame,” and I thank you.
To our guest speaker, Darryl G. Smith Esq., attorney at law and neighborhood organizer, your message was heartfelt. I believe the veterans who heard and those who will hear it in the future will take it to heart and not soon forget it. We salute you, sir.
Chaplain James Faison, as always, you were outstanding. Our newest member, Lenwood Ward, this was the first time you led the Pledge of Allegiance for our program and you, too, were outstanding. Our national anthem singer, Elijah Whitley of Wilson Chapel Free Will Baptist Church’s youth choir, your rendition of the national anthem was powerful, patriotic and heartfelt. Bravo, young sir.
Ms. Debra Deaton, vice chair of the Committee on Patriotism, your POW/MIA ceremony once again was outstanding. To the Earnest Ward Memorial Flag-Folding Team, Ms. Joe-Seth Ruffin and Mr. Charles Howell, you were outstanding. And the Singing Knights of New Hope Elementary School and director and music teacher Ms. Tasha Weatherington, you were all magnificent and your songs were sung superbly, yet your “A Tribute to the Armed Services” received the loudest and most emotional response from the veterans of the services when their branches’ song was sung. We look forward to having your chorus again.
To our program’s patriotic regulars, you were all awesome — the wreath presenters, Ms. Tina Miller, president of American Legion Auxiliary Unit 13 and Ms. Jacqueline Phillips, president of American Legion Auxiliary Unit 17. Our high schools’ JROTCs, Beddingfield, Fike and Hunt, your uniform appearance was excellent and a credit to your units. The same goes for our Wilson County Veterans Honor Guard and Rifle Team, commanded by Mr. Michael Black of the Marine Corps League and sponsored by American Legion Post 13, members of Disabled American Veterans and American Legion Post 13 and our taps player, Mr. Jerry Howell of American Legion Post 13.
We also thank the Legion Riders for their beautiful motorcycle display. And we thank our sound system tech, Mr. Alan Whitehead of Louie Alan Karaoke. Thank you, American Legion Post 13, for catering our refreshments. Thank you, city of Wilson Print Services for our programs, they are great. And we thank Wilson County Government for providing our relief stations.
All this said, what good is a program if no one attends? Thank you, veterans, citizens of Wilson, Daughters of the American Revolution and Ms. Adele Van Overbeke, visitors and friends. May God continue to bless us all, and God bless the United States of America.
City of Wilson, your dedicated Committee on Patriotism: City Councilman Logan T. Liles, Edmund N. Costello, Morgan P. Dickerman III, Debra Grover Deaton, James Arthur Faison, F.T. Franks Jr., Horace Goff, Lenwood Ward and E. Ray Chambers.
E. Ray Chambers
The writer is chairman of the Wilson Committee on Patriotism.