STATE ROAD — Close to 30 local veterans were honored in a “Tribute to Veterans Homecoming” during the 41st annual Mountain Park July Fourth celebration that began with a parade on Friday and concluded with fireworks.
Navy veteran Bobby Hanes said often veterans do not get the recognition they deserve. What better day than on July 4 to do so, said Hanes.
He reminded of the importance not to forget how many veterans took time out of their own lives in order to preserve freedom.
Some made the ultimate sacrifice and did not come home, said Hanes.
It means a lot to Hanes for others “to come up and tell me they appreciate my service. We should never forget how much that act can mean to veterans,” he said.
“Their service is why we are able to celebrate Independence Day and the reason, we are free.”
Still — in the midst of the celebration, a stark and painful memento loomed above reminding of heroes unable to attend but not forgotten. Flying high in the air and located at the park’s entrance stood a POW-MIA flag beside the American and North Carolina flags.
About those missing in action and prisoners of war, Hanes said, “I think we should tell their families what it means that they served. They should never be forgotten.”
He added, “We should make every effort to find all hostages, prisoners of war and bring them home. As a country and as individuals, we should never forget these people.”
Veteran of the United States Army, Dary Wall of Elkin, said, “I really appreciate them honoring us and our service. It makes me feel good to know people appreciate us going into the service.”
United States veterans recognized were: Dary Wall, Army; Calvin Wright, Marine Corps; Chaplain Frank Wooten (Purple Heart recipient), Army; Scott Holt, Navy; Norlan Holcomb, Army; Wayne Chatman, Army; Brian Butterworth, Navy; C.J. Flay, Army Reserves; Fred Harris, Army; Casey House, Army; Larry Brown, Marine Corps; Larry Brown, Marine Corps; Corwit Sence, Marine Corps; Lonnie Miller, National Guard; Gary Holbrook, National Guard; Charles Fletcher; Army; Vernon Ball, Navy; Craig Harris, Army; Michael Fahy, Army; Jerry Holder, Navy; Bill Hayes, Army; Wollsam Bounds, Army; Bill Gillespie, Army; Richard Bernabe, Marine Corps; James Bernabe, Marine Corps; Johnny Gentry, Army; Richard Willey, Army; Bobby Hanes, Navy.
Tanya Chilton may be reached at 336-835-1513 or on Twitter @TanyaTDC.