Baird addresses sacrifice during Veterans Day ceremony
Saturday morning it was chilly enough that the bubbling waters of the plaza fountain were frozen on the north side of the courthouse as the annual Veterans Day program came to life amid the constant hum of Monon Bell traffic headed south on Jackson Street or around the block to Starbucks.
Despite the cold air and other distractions, a hearty group of some two dozen loyal Americans came to pay their respects to the men and women of the U.S. Armed Services in a ceremony led by District 44 State Rep. Jim Baird (R-Greencastle).
“I can’t tell you how pleased I am that you are taking time today to pay tribute to all the men and women who have worn the uniform of the United States Armed Forces,” Baird told the crowd.
A Vietnam veteran himself, Baird knows duty and sacrifice all too well. He lost his left arm in a March 1971 North Vietnamese ambush of a supply convoy near the infamous DMZ (demilitarized zone).
“It is very fitting that we pay tribute to loyal, dedicated courageous men and women and their families that have given so much for preserving the freedoms we enjoy today,” Baird said.
“You have all heard the phrase, ‘All gave some, some gave all.’ There is significant meaning in these words. This is a truth we veterans know above all others, as it remains with us for a lifetime.
“By being here today,” continued Baird who recently announced a bid for the GOP nomination for U.S. Congress in the 4th District, “and taking time to reflect on the service and sacrifice of veterans, you demonstrate that this is much more than a catchy, patriotic phrase. It illustrates that you understand whether through your own service or through the service of others, the truth veterans know all too well: No one leaves the military uncharged.”
Baird added that “service before self” are three words that “define every person here today who has worn the uniform of our great nation.”
“Each one of you has sacrificed,” he said, “and I would like to thank you, from one veteran to another, for the solemn commitment. A grateful nation would like to thank you for your service.
“God bless our nation’s veterans and God bless America.”
The annual ceremony at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month was conceived as Armistice Day marking the end of World War I. Saturday’s ceremony included the traditional 21-gun salute by the combined Honor Guard of the Greencastle American Legion and VFW along with the playing of “Taps” by Daryl Hodges.