Veterans Day program commemorated World War I veterans
The VFW Post #8904 and Auxiliary conducted a moving program in the 1885 Historic Courthouse at 1 p.m. on Sunday, November 11, 2018 commemorating Shelby County World War I veterans, including those who lost their lives during the war. There were 35 men from the County who died either in battle, from wounds, or from disease. Seventeen of the 35 died from disease.
The VFW Post did an outstanding job researching the more than 800 men who were inducted into the military to fight in World War I. Besides their names, information was given including when and where they were born, when they were inducted, what branches of the military and their ranks, if they went overseas, were they wounded, when they were discharged, when they passed away and their ages at passing, and where they were interred.
Brother Aubie McSwain of the First Christian Church gave the invocation; and the posting of the colors was done by Connor Cassell, Hunter Cooper, Dakota Bailey, Adam Lawson, Austin Clark, and Luis Hernandez of Boy Scout Troop 119.
Posting of the Ceremonial Rifle was conducted VFW Post 8904 Sr. Vice Newton Johnson, Jr., and VFW Post member, Kenneth Dickerson. David Mathis, Minister of Worship and Education at the Center First Baptist Church played The National Anthem on the keyboard. The Pledge of Allegiance was then led by Garrett Lewis, President of the Shelby County 4-H Club.
Larry Hume, VFW Post 8904 Quartermaster and Master of Ceremonies for the program, welcomed the group and introduced Shelby County Judge Allison Harbison. Judge Harbison read the proclamation declaring November 11, 2018 as Veterans Day.
Next on the agenda was the Veterans of Foreign Wars Memorial Tribute, participated in by Post and Auxiliary members, Gene Hutto, Shane Fenley, Richard Lundie, and Mrs. Hutto. Then, a First Baptist Trio sang “In Flanders Fields.” The members of the trio were Leigh Porterfield, Barbara Mathis, and David Mathis.
A Flag Folding was done by Post Commander Gene Hutto, Sr. Vice Newton Johnson, Jr., Trustee Shane Fenley, and Trustee Travis Snider. After the flag was folded, Stellar Walker sang “Amazing Grace,” accompanied by her guitar-playing.
Quilts of Valor were presented to veterans, Orval Miller, Newton Johnson, Jr., John Piersol, and Richard Lundie by Extension Agent Jheri-Lynn McSwain and 4-H quilters and sponsors. Those are: Rena Clark, Isabella Gima, Autumn Alford, Michele Gomez, Fatima Romero, Ellen Manning, Jenny Salter, Michele Clark, Margaret Smith, and Lynette Alford.
The program was closed by the singing of “God Bless America” by Leigh Porterfield, followed by the playing of “Taps” by VFW Post 8904 Service Officer John Piersol.
The outside of the Courthouse was beautifully decorated with a “Weeping Window” made of some of the more than 2,500 poppies knitted and crocheted by the VFW Auxiliary ladies. More of the poppies were on wires in the ground in front of the window. The Veterans Memorial was also decorated with the poppies, and attendees were given a poppy before the program.