The Highland County Historical Society memorialized Veterans Day early Thursday morning with a speech from Hillsboro Auditor Alex Butler, a poem-reading of “In Flanders Field,” a rendition of “Eternal Father, Strong to Save” from Pastor Mark Hollinger, as well as 21 tolls of a large C.S. Bell that rests in front of the society’s Highland House Museum.
Butler, who wore combat fatigues adorned with a U.S. Army nameplate, said veterans are motivated by self-sacrifice, a calling to serve and a duty to the county and its people. He said they give up their time, talent and treasure for the people.
“I know that everyone here today can say “We’re not ashamed of America,” he said. “We love our flag and what it stands for. Our unique history and our many contributions to the world. I love our veterans and it’s important that we support them and make them feel appreciated. Veterans understand our nation’s purpose and the fact that we are the last and best hope of the world and it’s a very tough time for our nation right now, and there’s a lot to be said about that.”
Butler said that Thursday was the 100th anniversary of the Tomb of Unknown Soldier and that the event where the first unknown soldier was transported to Arlington National Cemetery was 55 years after the end of the Civil War.
Butler said many of the people in attendance at that event were Civil War veterans and that the war “tore America apart, but World War I brought us back together in many ways.” He also said that was because people that fought against one another in the Civil War fought together in Europe in World War I.
“America can and must come together,” he said. “Unity comes not from top down, but from the bottom up. Unity comes from the American people joining together in support of our Constitution and taking a stand for freedom … We are a government of, by and for the people and that is who we serve. So, today I just want to say to our veterans, thank you.”
Vicki Knauff, director of the Highland County Historical Society, said Veterans Day is an important day to recognize all the veterans from the county.
“Well, I think it’s a very important day to recognize all the Highland County veterans,” she said. “The ones who have sacrificed everything to preserve our freedom, and we have a lot of veterans here in Highland County, so I think they recognize that it’s an important day to commemorate.”
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