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Veterans honored at Woodland

VFW Post 8850 puts on event every Veterans Day

Every year, at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, Ironton VFW Post 8850 hosts a Veterans Day service at Woodland Cemetery, which took place on Sunday.

Louie Sheridan, member and past post commander of VFW 8850, welcomed the crowd to the service and talked a little bit about the importance of honoring the veterans before Ironton High School student Demi Sands sang the national anthem and Brother Chad Pemberton gave an invocation.

Sheridan then welcomed guest speaker, Lawrence County Commissioner DeAnna Holliday.

“Today I want to talk to you about two things that are important to me on this Veterans Day and everyday. One is how we honor our veterans, how we celebrate of veterans and how we recognize them,” Holliday said. “I was taught from a young age to say thank you to anyone in uniform or wearing a military hat or any other kind of identification that told me they were a soldier. When I was real young, it was a little confusing because at the same time, my parents were telling me not to talk to strangers. But as I got older, I understood the significance of that ‘thank you.’”

Holliday went on to speak about how it was fitting that God brought her to Lawrence County, “a place that exudes pride and honor for our veterans,” mentioning the new bronze Student Soldier statue at Dawson-Bryant High School, where her three sons went, elected officials in Lawrence County putting seniors, children and veterans first, and the Ironton-Lawrence County Memorial Day Parade, the longest continuous running parade in the country.

“The second thing I want to talk about is how we love our veterans, how we care for our veterans and how we meet their needs. This is the part that is a daily responsibility,” Holliday said. “We meet the needs of our veterans through our government offices and volunteer groups, but as individuals, we should always be looking for the opportunity to help a veteran with their individual needs.”

Holliday then talked about what it was like when her brother enlisted in the Marines when he was 18, how scared she was at that time and how she embraces him still each time she sees him.

“…I still hug my brother every time I see him, but I also embrace veterans who aren’t my family,” she said. “I feel that embracing our military in a literal sense is a responsibility.”

Following Holliday, Sands sang “God Bless America,” Pemberton again spoke and the ceremony was concluded with VFW Post 8850 conducting the 21-Gun Salute and Taps.

The post’s auxiliary also hosted a turkey dinner at the post following the ceremony.