Veterans' Memorial Dedicated in Ceremonies,
by: Bobby McDonald
In what became a "packed" downtown square area, on Saturday night, the Hopkins County Veterans' Memorial Committee conducted the official Dedication Ceremonies for the newly completed memorial, that honors the veterans from the Republic of Texas to those currently in service. The ceremony began at 6:30 p.m., with the presentation of colors by the Hopkins County Military Coalition and Reville being played by Hopkins County Native, Keley Fletcher Frasier.
Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient and Vietnam Era Veteran, Robert O'Malley conducted the flag raising ceremony and local attorney, Eddie Northcutt, served as the Master of Ceremonies.
James T. Lloyd led the Pledge of Allegiance.
The Pledge of Allegiance was led by James T. Lloyd, the nine year old son of Staff Sgt. Michael Chad Lloyd (killed in action in 2006 and a native of Hopkins County), and Sgt. Jessica Lloyd, in a very moving tribute to his father and other veterans, killed in action.
A "Roll of Those Killed in Action" was read by John Sellers, Chris Brown, Robert Newsom, Clay Johnson, and Jim Thompson, and with calling of each name, a bell was sounded to denote their ultimate sacrifice for Hopkins County and the nation.
Next on the program, was the singing of The Star Spangled Banner, by members of the Northeast Texas Choral Society Ensemble. And, during the presentation a "fly over" by a vintage plane, courtesey of Carl Bryan and Danny Goggans, was enjoyed by all.
Chairman of the Hopkins County Veterans' Memorial Committee, Clayton McGraw, then brought greetings and told a brief history of the committee's involvement in bringing the dream of a memorial to a reality. He ended this presentation with these words, "The memorial is now yours to enjoy, respect, and consecrate forever and ever!"
Another song, America the Beautiful, was presented by the Northest Texas Choral Society Ensemble, and Northcutt recited the Gettysburg Address, citing it as a proper group of words to describe the sacrifices made by those soldiers from Hopkins County.
Rev. C.J. Duffey led the group in a prayer and "Echoing Taps" was played from the stage and the rotunda of the Courthouse, by Kelly Fletcher Frasier and Elliott Johnston.
The small group of men and women who had a vision, back in 2006, for a means of honoring the service of men and women from Hopkins County, was finally fulfilled.
The next engraving of names on the memorial, will begin shortly after September 1, 2012, with hopes of completion by Veterans' Day, in November. If you have family members that you want submitted, please contact the Veterans' Memorial Committee, before September 1st.
Dairy Festival Queen, Molly Millsap, was one of the volunteers that helped Veterans and their families find
names on the memorial.
And, made this veteran's day, when she gave him a hug!!!
Congratulations, Veterans' Memorial Committee,
on a Beautiful Memorial and Job Well Done!!!