CLINTON—Anderson County honored the men and women “who have paid the ultimate sacrifice so that we may enjoy the freedoms so many take for granted” on Memorial Day on Monday.
It was the seventh annual Memorial Day Ceremony. They are held at the Veterans Memorial next to the Anderson County Courthouse in Clinton. They include a wreath-laying ceremony.
The ceremony this year also included the presentation of the colors by the Navy JROTC Maverick Unit from Anderson County High School and a few songs, including the national anthem by the Oak Ridge High School Choir.
Here a few pictures and remarks by the guest speakers on Monday:
Anderson County Veteran Services Director Leon Jaquet
“Today is not about picnics and parades—it is about remembering those who made our way of life possible,” Jaquet said. “Memorial Day is a time when Americans remember the 1.3 million military men and women who gave unselfishness of themselves with the ultimate sacrifice. We remember those who have made that sacrifice from the Revolutionary War to Afghanistan and the continued War of Terrorism.
“Today, we especially want to remember our 181 heroes from Anderson County, as listed on our memorial, whose lives were lost in those same conflicts.”
Jaquet said there are still 83,126 Americans who are listed as prisoners of war or missing in action.
“May we keep searching for them until we have full accounting of all our brothers and sisters, that they never be forgotten,” he said.
Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank
Memorial Day is a day to honor the fallen, Frank said.
“We owe a debt to those who have fought for us,” she said.
Frank has posted her remarks online here.
Clinton American Legion Post 172 Vice Commander Zach Farrar
Nearly one million men and women have sacrificed their lives while defending America in time of war, said Farrar, who was recently elected to the Clinton City Council.
The memorials to those who have died while serving the United States of America remind of us of the price of peace and the sacrifices for our freedoms, he said.
“It is their courage and bravery that gives me hope,” Farrar said. “Let us honor them by living a life that makes a difference.”
Tennessee District 33 Representative John Ragan
Ragan urged the few hundred people attending to remember the sacrifice, courage, dedication, and duty exhibited by those who have died while defending the country.
“The sacrifice was not theirs alone, but of their loved ones as well,” said Ragan, a retired U.S. Air Force fighter pilot who lives in Oak Ridge.
The pain of the loss never goes away, but it might ease a bit, he said.
“Today we remember those patriots,” Ragan said.