“Flag Still Waves” As Ferndale Honors Veterans

“Flag Still Waves” As Ferndale Honors VeterHowesLocationans

(Sherry A. Wells, Nov. 11, 2014)

The Ferndale Memorial Association, which carefully plans the annual Memorial Day parade and program each May, also presented the Veteran’s Day ceremony.

Retired Master Sgt. Tim Brennan, of the Ferndale Memorial Association, opened the ceremony and later on played Taps. Rev. Clare Hickman, of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, gave the invocation and benediction, expressing our thanks to those who served, who gave their lives or a measure of the quality of life from serving, and our hopes for peace.

At least20141111wells04TALL 2 vehicles slowed down during the service, showing respect, when the drivers realized what was occurring.

The Elks Club was a sponsor of the ceremony, represented by Jerry Olli, and Past Exalted Ruler, Ron Reid, who laid a wreath at the memorial. Councilmember Dan Martin represented Ferndale City Council.

The special guest and speaker was Brigadier General Arthur G. Austin, who served 37 years in the Army. His tours of duty included Iraq, Southwest Asia, Cuban Relief Operations and Kuwaiti Liberation. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Michigan State University, a Master’s from the University of Phoenix and attended the Army War College. He was awarded a Bronze medal for waterworkMeritorious Service and the U. S. Army National Defense Service Medal.

The General had trained with Vietnam Veterans and hearing about the treatment of them after their return, but he also saw their pride in having served.

He told of awaiting news of the start of the Gulf War at 0300 hours ( 3:00 AM). He quoted the Star Spangled Banner: “The bombs bursting in air, and the rockets red glare,” and having “hoped the flag was still there.” He seed020_heather_coleman_vosssaid they literally had their “proof through the night.”

He told how, in 2008, sympathizing with Iraqi generals, whose flag was not there.

Saddam Hussein had claimed he had the world’s fourth largest Army. His chief weapons were scud missiles.

That early morning, the first boom the General recalled hearing was the scud missile.

“But nothing can prepare you for the U. S. answer–the Patriot missile–and its supersonic boom. That was our proof that night.”

He concluded with, “You are that proof, at events like this, that our flag still waves. This ceremony is at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. The words of the national anthem mean something for times to come for the land of the free, and the home of the brave.”

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