Veterans honored in July 4th Celebration
The weather was beautiful on July 4 for the 17th annual Veterans Celebration at the Veterans Memorial in Cameron.
Zack Workman opened the celebration as the Master of Ceremonies thanked all those who contribute continually to Veterans Memorial and to the efforts to provide hat pins to all the veterans every year. “Last and not least to our veterans. Over time so many of you have served your time, done your jobs and come back home day in and day out and all you ever ask for is a thank you. Today we all have an opportunity to say that to you. I would like to personally thank each and everyone of you for your services and all you have done.”
Workman encouraged the gathered crowd to thank a Veteran every opportunity they get and to listen to their stories.
Commander Allen Reed of American Legion Post 33 welcomed everyone and Chaplain Bill Hendrix provided the invocation.
The National Anthem was performed by Sergeant Andrew Henry, Trooper Steve Force, Pastor Terry Beasley and Judah Beasley.
Mayor Darlene Breckenridge spoke during the ceremony, beginning by quoting John Adams, “The 4th of July ought to be celebrated with with Pomp and Parade, with Shows, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires, and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other,” she continued saying, “I do believe our town takes this to heart and delivers all that and more.”
Mayor Breckenridge spoke not only to the current 4th of July celebration but also of those passed and many of the ways the holiday was celebrated in Cameron in the past. Mayor Breckenridge shared a quote by Erma Bombeck,
“You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.”
“This is a day about being able to make wonderful memories.” Breckenridge continued. “As we reconnect with friends and family enjoy the celebration and as you end your day looking at the wonderful explosion of lights, close your eyes, just for a moment and give thanks to all those who fought so hard to keep us free.”
“From the bottom of my heart I want to say thank you and may God bless you.” Mayor Breckenridge said.
Sergeant Andrew Henry of the Missouri State Highway Patrol then stepped forward to perform “God Bless the USA,” accompanied by the Cameron Municipal Band.
Two veterans were honored at the celebration and presented with flags. The first was Veteran Jim Taylor who was born on October 29, 1921 to John S. Taylor and Verda Taylor. He is the youngest and has two half-siblings. Jim graduated from Lawson high school in 1939 and entered the service on July 14, 1943. He served in World War II as a replacement soldier, first scout, first infantry, and 16th regiment in the Army. Jim was in the war for eighteen months total, and was the only one to survive when an artillery shell hit his chow line killing the entire squad. After the war, Jim remained in Germany for an entire year helping close up loose ends and keep order in war torn Germany. When Jim returned to Lawson after the war, he spent the rest of his days farming on the family farm. Today Jim resides at the Cameron Veterans Home where he enjoys eating the food, playing cards, going to Royals games and interacting with other veterans in the front lobby. Jim was presented with an American flag by Veteran Richard Youngs.
The second veteran to be honored was Veteran Gerald H. Dennis, M.D. who was born on April 14, 1936. He is the only child of Dr. and Mrs. Gerald H Dennis of Dayton, Ohio. In 1953, Gerald graduated from Stivers High School where he earned straight A’s and was on the honor roll. After high school, Gerald attended Ohio State University arts and doctorate program. After seven years in the program, Gerald was awarded a Bachelor of the Arts degree and a Medical Doctorate degree. His post collegiate career began at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, Ohio where he was in a residency program for three years. Upon completion of his residency he joined the Air Force, where he worked as a flight surgeon, training at Brooks AF Base and ending up at Lockbourne/Rickenbacker Air Force Base in Ohio. Upon completion of his military service, Dr. Dennis opened his own family practice where he worked as a primary care physician for twenty-five years. Currently Dr. Dennis resides at the Cameron Veterans Home where he enjoys playing bingo, eating out at restaurants, spending time with his wife and conversing with others in the chow hall. The American flag was presented to Dr. Dennis by Veteran Ray Diven.
The Cameron Municipal Band then played an Armed Forces Medley and invited all Veterans to stand as their branch theme was played. Veterans or their family members came forward to be presented with hat pins honoring them for their service.
Chaplain Bill Hendrix delivered the closing; area bag pipers lead by Ethan Riddle played Amazing Grace. The Zion Preparatory Academy offered a twenty-one gun salute and the ceremony was concluded by Chuck Harvey of the Cameron Municipal Band playing Taps.