Large Crowd Honors Veterans – Mount Vernon
By Chuck Martin / Mount Vernon News
November 12, 2013
MOUNT VERNON — The opening of the Eyes of Freedom exhibit drew a good crowd Monday morning, with students from Mount Vernon High School and Knox County Career Center swelling the turnout.
An hour later, another large crowd gathered around the Civil War monument on Public Square to honor all those who have served in uniform.
The blending of events made for a busy morning, as people who had attended the opening of the Eyes of Freedom exhibit at Schnormeier Gallery at 10 a.m., then moved to Public Square for the traditional 11:11 a.m. Veterans Day ceremony.
The price the military pays for our freedom and the thanks we owe to the veterans who have served was also the theme of the annual Veterans Day observance on the square.
“We appreciate the service and honor the sacrifices,” said VFW Post 4027 Commander Mark Schwendener.
Following the placement of a wreath by the Gold Star Mothers, flowers by the Daughters of the American Revolution and a poppy cross by the VFW Ladies Auxiliary, the keynote speech was given by Lynn McCann, president of the Henry Knox Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution.
McCann continued the theme of remembering the price of freedom, citing the nearly 3 million service members who have been killed in wars, skirmishes “police actions” and other military operations in the nation’s history, beginning with the 25,000 Americans killed in the Revolution.
“Most Americans don’t appreciate what our ancestors endured” to create this nation, he said, adding that they created a nation whose constitution and basic structure have endured for more than 200 years.
They did this by taking on the world’s best army and most powerful navy and persevering.
“The military rose to the occasion and the nation still exists,” he asserted.
Veterans, he said, have sacrificed much for the nation, whether they served in peace or war. They’ve been sent all over the world, separated from their families and put their lives and careers on hold.
Winston Churchill said of the RAF, “Never have so many owed so much to so few,” he said, “And we can say the same about our veterans.”
Photos by Virgil Shipley, Top: Lynn McCann, Keynote Speaker, bottom: Knox County Career Center Air Force ROTC.