By Audrey Spencer
The Cove Herald
KEMPNER - Local veterans, families and residents gathered at Sylvia Tucker Memorial Park for the city's third annual Veterans Day ceremony Nov. 11.
Under U.S. and POW/MIA flags lowered to half-staff, keynote speaker Col. David Hill, of the 36th Engineer Brigade, thanked "the fine folks of Kempner" and the other groups that helped create the "professional, successful ceremony," including Boy Scout Troop 90 and the Lampasas High School band.
Hill spoke about the history of Veterans Day and quoted President Woodrow Wilson and Gen. Douglas MacArthur.
"'The soldier, above all other people, prays for peace, for he must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war,'" Hill quoted from a speech made by MacArthur in 1962. "Remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice and paid for our liberties with their blood."
The brigade's color guard presented the flags, and a Boy Scout led the crowd in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. The band played patriotic music. Allison Hendrick sang "The Star-Spangled Banner."
The band then played taps. The Rev. Don Casper, of the First Baptist Church of Kempner and a Navy veteran, delivered the benediction.
"It was inspiring, well done and timed perfectly," said retired Maj. George McClintock, who served in the Vietnam War. "It was a good job all around."
Combat veterans attended the ceremony. "This is the only one I go to," said William Crow, who served two tours in Vietnam. "I get sentimental. The atmosphere gets to me."
Sylvia Tucker Memorial Park is an ideal place to hold a Veterans Day ceremony because the 36th Engineer Brigade soldiers assembled the playground equipment and built sidewalks and paths, said Mayor Gene Isenhour.
The park features a wall that honors veterans. People can buy stones for former or current members of the military for placement on the Wall of Honor.
"A lot of people just see this as a day off. It's important to remember the sacrifice," said Isenhour.
Contact Audrey Spencer at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7476.