So often, Americans forget to thank veterans. But Garner wanted to take time Friday, Nov. 11 to share a special thank you to the men and women in uniform.
“The debt we owe veterans can never be repaid,” Mayor Ronnie Williams said to the group gathered at the Aversboro Road Baptist Church for the third annual Veterans Day Ceremony.
While Veterans Day is considered a holiday across the country, Williams said the men and women who have served see it as an opportunity to remember their friends who were lost. Williams is a veteran of the Vietnam War.
Keynote speaker and first female Brigadier General in the N.C. Army National Guard Elizabeth D. Austin said Americans should not think of Veterans Day as a celebration of victory. Instead, we should see it as a day to pay tribute to one percent of the U.S. population.
“We mark this day as a celebration of all those who made victory possible,” she said.
The majority of veterans are ages 22 to 30. And many of them want to go back to tours overseas because they have a sense of duty and teamwork. Austin said they are America’s “next greatest generation.”
She encouraged Garner residents to remember military families who also sacrifice and serve in their own way.
“America would not be the land of the free if it were not the land of the brave,” Austin said.
The Garner Veterans Memorial Committee had an update on Garner’s memorial to commemorate the sacrifice of Veterans from all American wars. Committee President Harold Annis said in 2009 the group revealed the design of the memorial, which was designed by a Garner resident and is being overseen by Clearscapes, PA out of Raleigh. In 2010, the committee dedicated the site that was donated by the Town of Garner at Lake Benson Park. Now, Annis said the committee began private fundraising and recently opened it to the public.
Annis said after the committee reaches its first goal for the next year of $250,000, hopefully by mid-January, the group can begin to sell commemorative bricks. He said the committee hopes to begin construction on the memorial so that it’s ready to dedicate on the next Veterans Day.
“We need support to finish this up,” Annis said.
If you would like to donate to the Garner Veterans Memorial, financial gifts can be sent to P.O. Box 560 Garner, NC 27529. For more information, contact Faye Gardner by phone at 772-2214 or 772-6440 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or Harold Annis at email@example.com.
Contact Kelly Griffith at firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-552-5675.