The city of Richmond Hill held its annual Veterans Day Observance event to salute the past and present members of the United States armed forces. Residents and city and county officials alike came out to J.F. Gregory Park to pay their respects.
The event included a panel of speakers and also utilized the park’s veteran’s monument which played host to a wreath laying ceremony by Richmond Hill Mayor Richard Davis and 3rd Infantry Division Lt. Col. Brian Gale. The two then signaled a salute to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice while "Taps" played over the loud speakers.
Among the speakers at the event were Davis, Gale, VFW Post Commander Harold Eckhoff, Paul Spence with Vietnam Vets of America and American Legion Commander Greg MacDougal.
"It is because of all the veterans of this great country that we can call America the land of the free and the home of the brave," Davis said.
MacDougal said there are approximately 15 million veterans alive in the United States today which makes for ten percent of the population.
He said they do not get the respect they deserve.
As an example of this, he said 23 percent of the population are veterans.
"They (veterans) felt serving this country was important enough to lose limbs, withstand sub-zero temperatures, miss the birth of their own children…it should be important enough for Americans to, in turn, support them and their families."
"Thank a veteran for their service," Spence said. "It could mean more to them than any medals they could earn."
Gale, a Richmond Hill resident, complimented the park’s monument, calling it "best veteran’s monument in the southeast." He also spoke of the large flag on Hwy. 17, and said everyone should "pause for a brief minute and ponder the sacrifices our veterans have made. That’s what the flag means to me."