There were multiple Veterans Day programs in Wetumpka on Thursday, Nov. 11. The Wetumpka Fire Department flew an American flag that was large enough for motorists to see from far away in front of Trinity Episcopal Church on U.S Highway 231 for most of the day.
The VFW Post 4572 held a Veterans Day program that began at 11 a.m., this time is significant because it originally marked the beginning of Armistice Day. Now Veterans Day, this holiday observed every year on Nov. 11 marks the resolution that was signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France, and called for the end of oppositions on the Western Front of World War I, which took effect at 11 a.m., or the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month" of 1918.
Ashton Taylor from Boy Scout Troop 50 in Wetumpka donated one of three American flag retirement boxes as part of his Eagle Scout project. The boxes are located at the VFW Post 4572, located 100 Otter Track Rd., the Wetumpka Administration Building, located at 408 S Main St., and Wetumpka Chamber of Commerce, located at 116 E Bridge St.
VFW Post 4572 Auxiliary Officers President Regena "Storm" Hight presented Taylor with the first American Flag that she rescued from a field after a storm. Height was taken back by the gratitude shown by those who saw her while she was collecting the flag from the field it had landed in.
"The outpouring of appreciation from the traffic that was going by when I rescued that flag was tremendous," she said.
Height encouraged anyone who has or sees a flag that is in need of retirement to bring it to one of the drop boxes.
Maj. Gen. John C. Flournoy Jr. was the keynote speaker during the VFW Veterans Day program. Maj. Gen. Flournoy has an extensive military background, including, most recently, Chief of Staff of the U.S. Transportation Command, Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, where he was responsible for the development of plans, policies, and procedures to ensure efficient operation and seamless interface between headquarters staff, component commands, and subordinate organizations.
Maj. Gen. Flournoy also has several distinguished service medals, including the Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Air Medal with oak leaf cluster, Aerial Achievement Medal, and more.
Trinity Episcopal Church also hosted a Veterans Day program starting at 2 p.m. where Boy Scout Troop 50 presented the flags.
U.S. Representative for Alabama's 2nd congressional district Barry Moore was the keynote speaker. Moore encouraged veterans to reach out to his office if they need assistance.
"I'm here to serve you," Moore said. "We have an office right here in Wetumpka. If you have issues, don't hesitate to call. We want to make sure that you know we are here to sever you."
Moore also expressed his gratitude to those who serve in the military.
"I love our veterans," Moore said. I appreciate what you do for this country."
Two flags were presented during the program. SFC Leon R. Brasington was honored with the presentation of an American flag this year. SFC Brasington resides in Wetumpka, with his wife Jan. SFC Brasington served in the US Army as a UH-1 Huey helicopter crew chief during the Vietnam War and returned to serve in the Alabama Army National Guard in his unit the 1133rd Medical Company (AA). He also served in an OH-6 and OH -58 A/C Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (TARC) unit. He retired from the Alabama National Guard. Today, he still gives of himself weekly by riding in the Patriot Guard to honor service members during funeral details.
"This has been an honor," SFC Brasington said.
Boatswain's Mate First Class (BM1) William F. Cody, known to most as Bill, who died earlier this year was also honored during the Veterans Day program. During his service, his duty was maintaining Aids to Navigation in Memphis, TN. He performed Search and Rescue from Coast Guard Base in Mobile. In 1975, he taught Aids to Navigation at the School in Yorktown, VA. Cody began as a riverboat pilot on the Mississippi River and then later joined the US Coast Guard. Bill was related to Buffalo Bill Cody of the Wild West Show. His great-grandfather's brother was Buffalo Bill Cody. His family had numerous family members who served in several branches and today his grandson is assigned to the Alabama Army National Guard in Montgomery. His wife Lin was presented with an Alabama flag, which was flown over the Alabama State Capitol Building.