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Annual Woodland Cemetery service pays tribute to vets

Around 100 people gathered at the Woodland Cemetery on Friday, at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, to honor all those who have served our country for Veterans Day.

Louie Sheridan, member and former post commander of Ironton VFW Post 8850, gave a welcome before the Rev. Jeff Cremeans, of the Ironton City Mission Church, read an opening prayer. The VFW Post 8850 Honor Guard then posted the colors followed by the Pledge of Allegiance and Ironton High School freshman Demi Sands singing the national anthem. Ironton resident Rodney McFarland served as the guest speaker, and spoke about how Veterans Day evolved from World War I, the importance of honoring the veterans and thanked everyone in attendance.

“Memorial Day is set aside to honor our fallen, Independence Day is set aside to celebrate our nation’s freedom, but Veterans Day salutes all those who have served our country, regardless of when or where,” he said. “There are nearly 22 million veterans who have served our country. Today is their day, and today is our day to stand just a little bit taller. We’re able to live freely and gather here today because of their service.”

Sheridan said that honoring veterans with the Woodland Veterans Day Service is important for the community.

“Ironton and Lawrence County has such a deep tradition in Memorial Day with the Memorial Day parade to honor our fallen soldiers,” he said. “It’s important to come here on Veterans Day to honor all of our veterans and thank them.”

To close the ceremony, Sands sang “God Bless America” before a closing prayer and the 21-Gun Salute and Taps by VFW Post 8850.