Clayton News Daily: Jonesboro honors veterans

By Joe Adgie

Updated Nov 11, 2016

JONESBORO — America’s veterans were honored Friday at a moving Veteran’s Day ceremony at Lee Street Park.

The event, which featured U.S. Rep. David Scott as a guest speaker, honored living veterans of every conflict since World War II and every branch of the military.

Joy Day, Jonesboro mayor, said the event was about valuing those that have served in the Armed Forces.

“Today is about those who have served the cause of freedom, our beloved veterans,” Day said. “Veterans love their country. They believe in a cause. They know first-hand that the world is a better place because of the power, influence and value of the United States of America.”

A veteran of World War II was present and was pointed out in the crowd by Scott, who discussed the bravery of that generation, a generation referred to by some as the “Greatest Generation.”

“We owe so much, but not just us,” Scott said. “Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve had wars upon wars, but there was no war like World War II. If it wasn’t for us, the American solider who went in hails of bullets, sitting on the ships, in the airplanes, bound for Normandy, where we had over 300,000 of our soldiers braving the oceans to land at Omaha Beach and Utah Beach in a hail of bullets and armor from the German machine guns.”

Scott said it was the efforts of Americans on the beaches of Normandy that helped liberate France and the rest of Europe from the rule of Nazi Germany in June 1944.

“Had we not gone on D-Day, Europe would be speaking German today,” Scott said. “I not only speak for me, but I speak for the President, for NATO, I speak for Great Britain and all of our allies… Your generation, the World War II generation, saved the world.”

Scott, who is a member of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, said in his travels around the world, he has spoken to individuals who have shared more knowledge of the American military than people stateside.

“This is an extraordinary day, and we take it too lightly,” Scott said. “We do not have the full educational grasp in our schools, in our colleges to understand the sacrifices that our military has made for this world. I get to travel around the world as a member of NATO, and I talk to people, and there’s such a great respect for our military.”

Scott said the country taking Veteran’s Day lightly is a problem.

“We’ve got to correct that,” Scott said.

The event featured representatives from every branch of the military - the Navy, Army, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard, and veterans of the Korean War, Vietnam Conflict, Cold War, Desert Shield, Desert Storm and the War on Terror, among other conflicts.