Brig. Gen. Charles Kelley (USAF-Ret.) was the guest speaker at Wetumpka’s Veterans Day observance. Photo by Peggy Blackburn
Brig. Gen. Charles Kelley (USAF-Ret.) was the guest speaker at Wetumpka’s Veterans Day observance. Photo by Peggy Blackburn

Veterans honored for service, sacrifice

Published 11:22am Thursday, November 14, 2013

The service and contributions of military veterans were celebrated Monday morning during Wetumpka’s annual Veterans Day service held in the Garden of Valor at Pine View Memorial Gardens. The observance began at 11 a.m., mirroring the significance of the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month when an armistice to end World War I was signed.

Surrounded by small American flags fluttering on grave sites, citizens, active duty military personnel, Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts and veterans gathered for the occasion.

Post Commander Judd Elliott welcomed those in attendance, and asked them to keep veterans in their thoughts year-round.

“Today is Veterans Day,” he said. “But every day should be Veterans Day.”

Brig. Gen. Charles Kelley (USAF-Ret.) offered the keynote address.

“This is a wonderful occasion because it’s to honor veterans from the time we beat the Brits until right now,” he said. “Personally I’ve known no greater pleasure than being a veteran.”

Kelley told his audience he is concerned about the fate of both the U.S. military and the country as a whole.

“Seriously we have some problems,” he said. “With our military, with our diplomacy in the world and with our policies here at home like the health care act.”

“Nine generals have been fired in the past year,” said Kelley. “And this administration is building a country catering to immigrants and low-income entitlement people. This is an effort to weaken this country until everything is under the control of the federal government.”

Kelley encouraged everyone to stay abreast of events and political maneuvers in the U.S.

“The turmoil being created is giving more and more authority to the administration,” he said. “I don’t know what the solutions are but we have to try to find them.

“My greatest concern here today is not what has already happened, but what is happening now. This country has experienced all the lies and dishonesty it can take.”

Wetumpka’s annual Veterans Day observance is organized by Smith-Leo­nard VFW Post 4572, its Ladies Auxiliary and Chapter 263 of the Korean War Veterans. Following the service, VFW members hosted an open house at the post.

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