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Brown County says 'thank you' on Veterans Day
Brownwood Bulletin - 11/16/2021
Nov. 13—A large crowd turned out to observe Veterans Day on a warm, sunny Thursday morning at the Central Texas Veterans Memorial in Brownwood.
The observance included the honoring of retired naval Rear Admiral Jeffrey Lemmons, a 1975 graduate of Brownwood High School and Brownwood's highest ranking veteran. A plaque honoring Lemmons was placed at the memorial.
Brownwood Mayor Stephen Haynes Haynes, the first speaker, said he's always proud to represent the community but is never prouder than when he stands at the memorial on Veterans Day and Memorial Day.
"It gives me great pride, it gives me great hope in our future, and it gives me great admiration for the people of this community to know that we have this place to come, and to know we have people that will come," Haynes said. "We want to be sure and remember our veterans and say thank you. I know, as one has never served in the military, the words 'thank you' seem hollow and inept and lack the meaning that they need. But they're more than just our words because they're surrounded by our attendance this morning."
Sen. Dawn Buckingham, the keynote speaker, said, "I was really lucky last week to be in Mar-a-Lago and hear President Trump speak, and his whole speech was about courage and how we're exceptional, how we are the land of opportunity.
"At the time we were founded we were this radical experience and now we are the shining star that leads the world and Texas is the state that leads the country. If you look at our military service throughout our history, Texans have served, Texans have stepped up, and if you weren't a Texan when you went into the military, a whole lot of you settled here because you came through here at some point in our various military installations and then you come and stay with us. So it is our honor to salute you, and it is your courage that we try to mirror in the legislature."
Lemmons, who was introduced by PF&E owner Calvin Fryar, said, "I grew up in a culture where you don't spell 'team' with an 'I.' I was fortunate to grow up and service was an easy choice for me. My grandfather served, both of his brothers served, my dad served, both of his brothers served, my brothers served, my son is serving. Service was always a given, it wasn't option, at least to me, growing up. The examples to me in family were all of service, and when it was your time, the expectation was that you were going to serve too. And that was not just inside the family, it was inside the community."
State Rep. Glenn Rogers said he's not a veteran and doesn't know "what it's like to be overseas and away from my family for long periods of time. I've never stood at the gates of the enemy and marched head first into danger. I've never had to patch up a wounded brother."
Rogers said what he has done is raise children has been blessed with grandchildren. "When I look at my children and I get to wrap my three grandchildren up in my arms, it reminds me why we remember, why I am so grateful for today and for the service of every veteran from across this country," Rogers said. "The reason I get to hold my grandchildren, the reason I get to watch my daughter grow into an amazing woman in this free country, is because of those of you who are and were on the lines fighting against those who seek to rob those children of their God-given right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in the greatest nation in the world."
Retired Army Col. Tom Gray, commander Of American Legion Post 196, said nine post members will be honored for service to veterans with granite bricks at the memorial.
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