‘Thank the 25 million veterans still living today’

To say thank you for the service of our military veterans, Barbourville Independent Schools held a Veterans Day Program on November 10.

Along with recognizing honored veterans and their families, the program featured a special prayer, music by the Barbourville High and Middle School choirs and Janet Jones served as the event’s guest speaker.

“Being a service member was never an easy job but the troops in today’s all-volunteer military chose to serve for a cause greater than themselves,” said Jones, a former sergeant in the Kentucky National Guard. “For the better part of a decade, they have endured multiple tours, protecting us from danger and giving others the opportunity to live life in security.”

Jones commented on the bravery and sacrifice required of veterans to protect this country, all who believe they are just doing their job. This is another reason why holidays such as Veterans Day are so important; to remind those who sacrifice for our country that we appreciate and support all that they do.

“On Veterans Day, I think about the 1.3 million men and women we have in uniform today who are part of the next generation,” said Jones. “These troops don’t see themselves as being brave or special, they just say they’re doing their job.”

Jones also reminded the audience that Veterans Day extends to the families of those who have served and that actions always speak louder than words.

“As we remember and recognize our veterans, we recognize their families who stood beside our veterans and served and sacrificed in their own way,” continued Jones. “On Veterans Day, I ask you to not just mutter a word of thanks to our veterans but let your actions be the torch you hold high. Let your words bring forth action. Think about their service and sacrifice. Don’t just say thank you to our veterans, show it.”

Also in attendance, the Knox JROTC Guard posted the colors and held a moment of silence for each military branch, followed by a short speech from Colonel Austin Smith.

“When Francis Scott Key wrote the Star-Spangled Banner 203 years, one month and 27 days ago, he called America the land of the free and the home of the brave. Those words are as true today as they were then,” said Smith. “We can never fully repay our debt and gratitude to the more than 650,000 American service members who died in battle or the 1.4 million who were wounded. We can however recognize and thank the 25 million veterans still living today.”