Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

November 12, 2012

A salute to veterans

Jackson Adams
Effingham Daily News

EFFINGHAM —     A 21 gun salute and several speakers commemorated veterans as well as men and women currently over seas at a Veterans Day ceremony in front of the old court house in Effingham.

    “Veterans Day is a very good time to remember all veterans, not just those who have already served,” said John Burford of the Teutopolis American Legion.

    The ceremony took place in the memorial, with the large onyx stones displaying the names of those who have served in Effingham County. Burford said the names on the stone, as well as those that may be etched in the future, need to be remembered in ceremonies such as this.

    “I think we have to do this or we forget the sacrifices veterans have made,” he said. “It’s why we can vote and why we can gather today.”

    Chris Thies, Commander of the Effingham American Legion, said the sacrifice veterans have made have allowed commemorations such as Sunday’s to even happen.

    “They’ve sacrificed so much to be here,” he said. “We were able to pray today, we were able to do this without getting a permit or anything. That shows what they’ve done. That’s what events like these are all about.”

    Thies also spoke highly of the memorial itself, saying it stood as a testament to those who have honorably served America abroad.

    “This is going to stand as a memorial for all to see and it’s going to be our memorial for a long time,” he said. “Hopefully, we’re not going to have to put any more names up there but we probably will. This is not a war memorial, it’s a veterans memorial.”

    Burford said events such as the ceremony also allow for men and women to have served to remember the bonds they havecreated and shared by defending and serving their country.

    “There’s a common bond for the World War I guys to the Vietnam guys to the World War II guys to the guys now,” he said. “They do and have done more than many of us will know to keep this country safe.”