Story and photos by JEFFREY POWELL
Each of the 150 chairs set up for the City of Freeport Veterans Day ceremony was filled and a standing room only crowd enjoyed a very pleasant afternoon for Monday’s event.
Freeport Veterans Memorial Chair Tim Ard began the event by giving a short history of the memorial and recognizing those in the crowd that had served in the armed forces. He then introduced Freeport Mayor Russ Barley.
“Thank you for joining me this afternoon as we recognize our veterans for their unwavering service to America,” said Barley. “Across this great country, and throughout the world, America will pause today to honor our brave fighting men and women who for more than 236 years have underwritten our freedom by their duty, honor and selfless service. We recognize that all our veterans have given something of themselves to this country and some have given all laying down their lives to defend the freedoms we hold so dear.”
After Barley addressed the gathering Walton High School Junior ROTC members presented the colors. Shortly thereafter, keynote speaker United States Navy Capt. (ret.) Kathryn “Bonnie” Bonner addressed the attendees.
“Good afternoon and thank you for the honor of being your guest speaker today. This is a very special day for me as a veteran to have the privilege to be part of honoring all our men and women who have served or are serving today in our armed forces,” Bonner said. “I am proud to say that my family has a history of serving dating all the way back to the Revolutionary War when one of my ancestors served with the Continental Army where British General Cornwallis was defeated. My own father was a Navy pilot in World War II and following in their footsteps I am a veteran of the Vietnam conflict. We owe it all to those who came before us, men and women who have served in our armed forces. Those that serve now are a long continuous line of Americans. Thank a man or woman who has served of who is serving today for your country. May God bless America.”
The event was concluded by the Walton County Sheriffs Office Color Guard playing “Taps” and a gun salute.