Veterans honored

Published 9:30 pm Monday, November 12, 2012

Surry Everett (left) leads Beaufort County veterans of the Vietnam War through the Walk of Honor during Sunday’s Veterans Day service in Washington. (WDN Photo/Mike Voss)

Veterans of the Vietnam War were particularly honored during the Veterans Day service at Veterans Memorial Park in Washington on Sunday.
This year is considered the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the USA’s formal involvement in that war, according to organizers of Sunday’s observance.
Keynote speaker Surry Everett, a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, delivered a speech titled “I Want to Remember.” Everett’s grandfather served in World War I and his father was at Pearl Harbor at the beginning of World War II.
“I want to remember. I want to remember all those who served and all those who gave their all. From the Revolution to the preset day, our military veterans, both men and women, have made this country what it is. It’s free. We can voice our opinions. We can disagree with each other, and yet we still are Americans,” Everett said. “I want to remember this day started out Nov. 11 at 11 o’clock, 1911, as Armistice Day, the end to the war to end all wars. What folly.”
Everett paid homage to his grandfather’s fellow soldiers in Battery B, including at least one fellow Washingtonian, who suffered from the effects of mustard gas. Everett noted that his grandfather was lucky because he was not gassed. He also paid homage to those who died on Dec. 7, 1941, during the attack on Pearl Harbor.
“I want to remember Vietnam. I want to remember the dominoes that did not fall,” Everett said. “I want all of you to remember to question  things.”
Everett also recognized those members of the U. S. military who fought or are fighting in other wars and “police actions” around the world.
“I want to remember all veterans who served their nation, whether they wanted to go or didn’t want to go. They went,” he said.
Beaufort County veterans of the Vietnam War were honored by the setting up of a temporary Walk of Honor at Veterans Memorial Park. Members of American Legion Auxiliary Unit 15 marked off the Walk of Honor by placing small, American flags in the ground, creating a pathway for the Vietnam veterans to tread.
Betsey Lee Hodges, president of the auxiliary unit, said the Walk of Honor was a way to honor Beaufort County Vietnam War veterans who returned from war without a ticker-tape parade to welcome them home, to protests over that war and “who never got their due.”

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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