2019 Veterans Day Wetumpka

Daniel Dye / The Herald

A choir performs a song during the 11th annual Tribute to Veterans event held at Trinity Episcopal Church on Nov. 11

In honor of those who served in the United States military, Trinity Episcopal Church in Wetumpka held its annual Tribute to Veterans event on Nov. 11.

The event included an area that displayed a variety of military service-related items owned by local veterans and a program that featured live music and the honoring of a local veteran.

“In our Gallery of Honor, we asked service members or their family to bring in their memorabilia,” event co-organizer and retired U.S. Army service member Gardner Perdue said. “We have memorabilia dating back to World War II in here. We have 10 story boards that tell different portions of our history as military veterans and much more.”

The Dixie Art Colony provided a variety of graphical and video presentations in the Gallery of Honor.

“There is a large group from Trinity Episcopal Church that helped work on this,” church member and Dixie Art Colony founder and president Mark Harris said. “We also did the two videos — one on the Korean War and the other on World War II.”

During the Tribute to Veterans, patriotic music was performed by local musicians, including The Madrigal Voices from Montgomery, The Singing Men from the church and Cornerstone Presbyterian Church and many more individuals and groups. 

Songs performed during the program included numbers dating back to the Civil War to present time. 

As it has grown, Linda Summey said she has seen the event receive positive feedback from the community.

“Once we started it, we couldn’t stop it,” Summey said. “The community rallied around it. Then we got an endorsement by the Elmore County Commission in our third year.”

Each year the event recognizes a local veteran for his or her service. This year’s chosen veteran was Radioman Petty Officer 3rd Class (RM3) Edsel “Ed” Oneal Chalker, U.S. Navy and former member of Trinity Episcopal Church. He served during the Korean War.

Perdue presented the Chalker family with an Alabama flag that flew over the state’s Capitol building.

“If it weren’t for them, we would not be able to do what we do today in America,” Perdue said. “This is a celebration of our freedom.”