Daleville remembers all veterans
The City of Daleville and the Lovely Touch Garden Club hosted the city's Veterans Day program at the Veterans Memorial on Friday, Nov. 10.The Lovely Touch Garden Club decorates the area around the memorial with flags and crosses honoring those who have served.According to Jan Robertson, president of the club, the club has been placing the flags and crosses around the memorial since 2008. This year, there were 97 flags and crosses on display.Col. (ret.) Teresa Townsend was the speaker for the event. Townsend was a military dependent, and she, herself, retired from the Army in 2015.She currently serves as the Senior Army Instructor for the Daleville High School JROTC program.Townsend told attendees that Veterans Day is special to her because of her military connections."Why is this day so special to me?" she said. "Well, it's because I'm the daughter of a veteran. I'm the sister of a veteran. I am the niece, the cousin and the friend of many veterans. In fact, in case you had not noticed, I am a proud American veteran."Whether anyone ever thanks me again for my service or not, I am proud that almost 33 years ago that I took the oath to serve my country, and if I had to do it all over again, I wouldn't change a thing."Townsend said that not so long ago, veterans of the Vietnam War were not as appreciated as the veterans of today."Heroes returned from Vietnam and were discouraged from wearing the uniforms in public due to the disrespectful actions of many protestors and others who disagreed with the policies that were set by our elected officials," she said. "Too often, though, the protestors failed to realize that it was not the campus agitator who ensured our first amendment rights, but it was the military veteran."She then shared testimony from Vietnam veterans. Many of the stories showed that members of the military put others first. She said Veterans Day is the day Americans put veterans first."Veterans Day is a time to honor not just those who have fought for us in battle, but in fact, all of the outstanding men and women who served in our nation's armed forces since our founding more than 241 years ago. Peacetime or wartime, our veterans have taken an oath that they are willing to offer their lives to defend the constitution of our country. Often times, it is just the sight of an Army Ranger team or a Navy Destroyer or an Air Force fighter jet, Marine Corps artillery or a Coast Guard cutter that deters the enemy from harming us. Most veterans will agree that the best wars are the ones that are never fought, but when war is necessary, you better believe that America's fighting men and women always come forward to put their country first."She encouraged attendees to thank veterans in any way, whether by saying thank you or offering a handshake. She also encouraged attendees to offer help for those who fight the invisible wounds that come with war."We need to remember the sacrifices made, the lives lost and the lost family time that they can never get back."Mayor Jayme Stayton thanked all veterans for their service and sacrifice to their country."I just want you all to know that, for the people that haven't served in the military, we love you all (who have served)," he said. "It's because of you all we're able to do what we do each and every day."Again, I just want to say thank you for anything you've ever done for our country and continue to do for our country."