PLYMOUTH — Pride for the United States and respect for those that serve or served it in the armed forces was shown Thursday during a Veterans Day ceremony held on the lawn of the Marshall County Courthouse at the memorial monument.
The third annual service began at what Pastor Robin Keating of the United Church of Christ described as being “the 11th month, 11th day and 11th hour,” with servicemen and women and their families paying tribute alongside students from Saint Michael school, representatives of local military organizations in Marshall County, the community, and Plymouth Mayor Mark Senter. John Pasley, first vice commander of the Plymouth American Legion Post #27 who served as an E5 in the U.S. Army led the event, introducing each speaker and giving thanks for all in attendance, including the students who had sent letters and pictures of gratitude to area veterans for their service.
Sgt. Michael Flater, representative and local recruiter for the U.S. Army spoke and was recognized for fighting in Iraqi Freedom as well as earning the honor of being named 2010 Recruiter of the Year for the Chicago Battalion.
Mayor Senter spoke of his father, a veteran now suffering from Alzheimer’s disease in an Indianapolis hospital. “My father is a WWII vet,” he said, and of the recent visit he made to him: “His eyes were totally vacant. It’s like he’s asleep with his eyes open.”
With pride Mayor Senter shared how his father “knew what he was gonna do when he graduated. ... And in the fall of 1943, he was on his way to Europe. He was 18 years old and 125 pounds. He was a medic, a non-combatant, but he saw the worst of it. Like many veterans, he never talked about it until a few years ago when he started putting it down on paper.”
He continued, “This day is for giving thanks to them, like my dad and the others that served ... for this country, and for you and me. Let us do what we can do today for them, because they fought and died for us.”
Prior to the playing of Taps, Pastor Keating offered a prayer and a moment of silence and summed up the somber but reflective mood of the crowd with: “While we remember those who have lost their lives serving our country, we must still remember those still giving their lives.”