BRANDON — A small, yet patriotic crowd turned out on a rather warm afternoon on Sunday to attend the annual Brandon Memorial Day services. Gathering at Brandon Memorial Park, a parade consisting of local residents, led by members of the Knox County Joint Veterans Council and escorted by units from the Homer Volunteer Fire Department, made its way from the park to the Brandon United Methodist Church.
It was the fourth ceremony in four days for members of the Joint Veterans Council, said Commander Joseph Schmitz. A fifth was to follow today, as the council continues to give of their time to honor those veterans who have gone before us.
Local residents, young and old, took a moment to step out of their homes and salute the local veterans and cheer on those marching in the parade, while others joined in behind and ventured toward the church for the ceremony.
Greeting those gathered at the cemetery behind the church was Marvin Haught, pastor of the Brandon Baptist Church. “We want to continue to remember what this day is about and what Memorial Day really is,” said Haught. He stated that on this day he is reminded of a song by Lee Greenwood which says, “I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free; and I won’t forget the men who died who gave that right to me ... God Bless the U.S.A.”
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Communities throughout Knox County will honor those men and women who lost their lives serving the United States of America.
Haught quoted scripture from Psalm 105 which tells us all to “Give thanks unto the Lord, call upon his name, and talk of all his wondrous works.” Continuing to stir the patriotic spirit in all, Haught shared words from Walter Taylor Field, which encourages us to “Look at the flag as it floats on high, streaming aloft in the clear blue sky, throbbing with life where the world may see ... flag of our country, flag of the free.”
A rifle salute was fired by members of the Joint Veterans Council honor guard, followed by “Taps” played by Bob Vernon.
A short service of worship and praise followed inside Brandon United Methodist Church. Pastor Ricky Chambers led the service which included hymns and a sermon on “Remembrance of Memorials.”