Veterans, others take time to remember all

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 14, 2004

Everett Dillow, of Ironton, watched Thursday as the VFW Post 8850 honor guard raised its guns and pierced the quiet with two loud blasts, the flag hanging at half staff beside them.

The gunnery salute was for Dillow and the countless others who have served their country in the armed forces at home and abroad.

"On Veterans Day we honor those who have served in the armed forces," VFW Post 8850 Commander Jerry Smith said in his Veterans Day address in a short service at Woodland Cemetery. "We remember with deep respect and loyalty those who paid the highest price for our freedom. … Let us thank each and every one who has given without regret the greatest gift anyone can give to their country."

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Dillow, a U.S. Army veteran of World War II, spent seven months on the front lines in France and was injured three times in combat and is the recipient of three Purple Hearts and two Bronze Stars.

"My uncle (Homer Dawson) was the first Ohio boy killed in World War I," Dillow said. "I wondered if I would follow in his footsteps." Even today, Dillow remembers that war is

agony for those who are doing the fighting.

"I had so many close shaves. I saw a lot of men killed. I remember seeing boys lying there begging for their mother and that hurt me worse than anything else. I just wonder in this deal now (in Iraq and Afghanistan) if they're begging for their mothers the way they did in France. It's heart breaking, I'll tell you that."

It is to Dillow and men like him, Smith said in his address, that America owes a debt of gratitude. Smith acknowledged that the debt grows larger with each generation. "Best wishes," he said, "for a safe return to those who are serving now."