The outpouring on Wednesday was both moving and powerful at Grayson County Veterans Memorial on Veterans Field at Fairview Park in Sherman. Hundreds of Veterans along with local, state and national dignitaries saluted those who serve our country in the military. And at the largest Veterans Day ceremony Sherman has ever had, yheir message was clear, it was one of thanks, remembrance and honor.
"They were proud to be there, proud to be making a difference in a country that truly needed them, proud to be defending the honor the integrity and the character of our beloved America. To the man these soldiers were living out duty, honor and country,” said Grayson County Judge Drew Bynum in an address to the crowd.
At the traditional time of honoring US veterans - the 11th hour, on the 11th day of the 11th month - people gathered across Texoma to pay tribute to our military men and women.
"All these men and women out here have had a part in serving this country, and the war in this day means a little different something to each one of them but it means something to them because they're here,” said U.S. Congressman Ralph Hall.
Congressman Hall was a Navy lieutenant who served as a pilot aboard an aircraft carrier, and is one of the few remaining World War II vets in Congress. He says there needs to be more days like this where vets and civilians come together to honor those who served.
"It means something different for all of us because we are of different branches, we celebrate for different reasons we honor and work on different graves and visit different burial places and have different prayers but we're all together for the United States of America and that's what we need to be,” said Congressman Hall.
The events began early this morning in Durant, where roughly a thousand students and vets gathered at Durant Intermediate School.
"It's a day we want to recognize our veterans for their great service and I think it's important that our kids understand what that's all about,” said Retired Navy Admiral Bill Retz.
The message at Wednesday’s ceremonies was not only remembering the past, but looking to the future.
"The people now that are serving in harm’s way are also giving their all for freedom,” said Vietnam veteran Darrell Nichols.
And the Vintage Military vehicle parade and ceremony that took place in Sherman were just two of many local Veterans Day events. Congressman Hall also visited a veterans commemoration in Bonham.