By Lora-Marie Bernard
MORE THAN 200 people turned out on Sunday to attend a Veterans’ Day Salute that commemorated lives that were lived and should have been lived.
State representative Wayne Faircloth told the gathering that the 48 million Americans who have served in battle since 1776 deserve to be remembered and honored.
“It’s a debt that can never be repaid,” he said during Texas City Rotary Club’s annual ceremony at Nessler Park.
He echoed the words of former president Ronald Reagan, who said troops who die in battle leave behind two lives and it is important to remember that the life they would have lived diminishes us all as Americans.
“They were not driven by hatred for the enemy,” he said. “They were driven by the love of the people they left behind.”
He encouraged the audience to thank veterans and never be embarrassed to ask: “Are you a veteran?”
Faircloth’s comments came after Rotary Club president Dee Ann Haney kicked off the event with a salute to World War II veterans and their families. Mayor Matt Doyle then issued a city proclamation that heralded the observance of Veterans’ Day and National Veterans Awareness Week.
The event featured a flyover by Jay Carnes, a $10,000 check from Marathon to help build a hike-and-bike trail and songs from the Levi Fry intermediate school’s sixth-grade choir.
Keynote speaker Coast Guard captain Tom Munoz issued a public letter to his sons and told them about the legacy the family had in the military.
He joked that they are enamored with sports figures so a portion of his address discussed the difference in the way a troop serves versus the way a sport figure entertains.
Munoz said a troop never negotiates a contract or pouts when he or she is uncomfortable. Troops don’t leave their team while they what for better pay. They don’t get to be traded.
In his emotional delivery, he said that a patriot does not ask why he serves but when he will be able to.
“I want my sons to know the pride of being a veteran,” he said.