City marks Veterans Day 2013

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Vietnam helicopter pilot Col. Jack Shields signs Christmas cards for the veterans at Fort Roots VA Hospital in North Little Rock as Maumelle attorney Belinda Harris- Ritter looks on. The United Methodist Men of Maumelle is once again asking Maumelle residents to join them in sponsoring a Fort Roots veteran for Christmas. The cost is $35. Call 851-2337 for more information.

A large crowd turned out on Monday, Nov. 11 to observe Veterans Day at the Maumelle Veterans Memorial at Lake Willastein.

Alderman Ken Saunders was master of ceremonies and gave the same speech he had just given at the dedication of a new flag pole at Academics Plus Charter School.

Members of the Dogwood Unit of the Maumelle Girl Scouts presented the colors, posting an American and an Arkansas flag. Later they led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance following Rev. Kerry Gandy’s invocation.

A Plus tenth grader Kendell Hardenbarger gave a spirited rendition of our national anthem and Mayor Mike Watson placed a solemn wreath at the memorial in honor of all veterans.

A Plus 11th grader Ian Gates spoke about his thoughts on the history and purpose of Veteran’s Day followed by Alderman Preston Lewis who delivered the keynote address.

He said a veterans service “is more than just a love of country. It’s a love of home. It’s a love of his or her spouse. It’s a love for children and grandchildren.

You see the commitment of military service isn’t just a commitment to one’s country. It’s an oath to those we love and their future.”

Lewis also told the story of Jim Fields, his grandfather who was a World War II fighter pilot who fought in the Battle of the Bulge and his grandmother Floy, Jim’s wife who was an Army nurse.

Dr. Robert Wilson read a poem, “WW 1 Vets: Armistice Day Parade, 1964.”

Seth Seaton, a young man who started playing “Taps” at the event when he was in high school, did so again in an Arkansas National Guard uniform where he is enrolled in the Officer candidate School. His full-time position is director of bands at Bigelow High School.

Weather was nice and not chilly like most Veterans Day events in the past. It was so pleasant many attendees stayed around to visit afterwards.

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