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Clarksville observance draws crowd to veterans memorial

SoVaNow.com / November 13, 2013
The Mecklenburg County Veterans Memorial Committee observed Veterans Day in Clarksville by honoring local men and woman who have fought and continue to fight for our country and our freedoms. Clarksville’s living veterans were honored Monday morning at the annual Veterans Day ceremony sponsored by the Mecklenburg County Veterans Memorial Committee.

Since the program is also a teaching tool for fourth grade students at Chase City and Clarksville who attend each year, speaker Charlie Simmons shared with the students the story of Sgt. Earle D. Gregory. A Chase City native, he was the first Virginian to receive the Medal of Honor — the United States’ highest military honor, awarded for acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. James Thornton reminded students of the five habits of heart and mind that they practice in school — traits which soldiers evince each day, said Thornton. Picking up the theme, the featured speaker, Retired Army Chaplain, Colonel Donald G. Wilson extracted a promise from the students “to not drop out of school.”

Using the story of Malala, the Pakistani girl who was shot for her crusade to obtain educational opportunities for girls in her country, Wilson explained that education is a gift that comes from the freedoms won for us by our fighting men and women.

Wilson made sure the lesson was spiced with fun, serenading the students on his banjo and teaching the kids how to “sound off,” soldier style.

Before concluding his remarks, Wilson acknowledged the veterans in the audience and thanked them for their service to the country.

Nancy Rowe opened and closed the ceremony with patriotic hymns and the Reverend Susan Grimm delivered the invocation and benediction.

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