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Veterans honored on their day

Veterans and supporters from the area celebrated Veterans Day, also known as Armistice or Remembrance Day, at its traditional time of the 11th month, on the 11th day and at the 11th hour, at Memorial Stadium.

“I cant think of anything I’d rather do than participate in a Veterans Day event,” said Judge Johnny Jones, former probate judge for Dallas County and masters of ceremony for the event.

Opening the event, students from John T. Morgan Academy band played patriotic music, Southside High School choir students sang the national anthem and American Legion Chaplain Herbie Gray offered a prayer.

Turning to the audience, Jones thanked the veterans and honored dignitaries for attending, and a special thank you to the veterans.

“You have a very special place on our heart, for what you have done for our country and what you continue to do for our country,” Jones said. “It’s up to us to not let anything happen to our nation.”

Keynote speaker Col. John Gibler, retired member of the Army and current director of the Alabama Military Hall of Honor, thanked the members of the volunteer forces for all they have given to this country. Gibler also felt it necessary to mention the recent event at Fort Hood, Texas.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out the friends and families,” Gibler said.

Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan opened fire in the Solider Readiness Center at Fort Hood, killing 13 people and wounding 30 others.

Reverend Kenny Hatcher then sang “Proud to be an American,” the National Guard 122 ASG of Selma color guard presented the flags, Southside ROTC members folded the flag and wreaths were presented by the American Legion post 20, BFOE Emblem Club, Meadowview Christian School and VFW post 3016.

Before Gray offered a closing benediction, past commander Jesse Sanchez played taps and read the words to the music.

“It has been my privilege to be here today,” Gibler said. “May God bless the United States of America.”