In Celebration and Gratitude

ELLIS COUNTY VETERANS APPRECIATION DAY

Over a span of thirteen years, this annual event has grown and evolved to create a truly remarkable occasion.   It addresses our military conflicts from WWI to the War on Terror and includes all branches of service.    The ceremony itself  is a grateful  acknowledgment by a community for its veterans and a heartfelt effort by those involved in its production.   A committee and 100 volunteers are joined by the Department of Public Safety, Texas Civil Defense, civic and military representatives, church and auxiliary groups, Boy Scouts, and ordinary citizens.

An annual reading of a veteran’s story, accompanied by photos, is a visceral reminder of their character and sense of duty.  Reflected from giant screens throughout the program, 700 poignant images reveal military members over the years, as well as a Memorial of young faces, forever ageless, who offered the ultimate service for their country.

The program’s music and images address the mood, triumphs, and sacrifice in our history.  Processions and audience participation reflect a joint endeavor by multiple groups in celebration and remembrance.

Audience-3

A gathering assembles each year in honor of veterans and their service

Boy Scouts-2

Boy Scouts lead a responding audience in the Pledge of Allegiance

Swing Band-1

Emotions are stirred by a swing band’s music and songs relevant to each era

 Military Branches-4

Various military branches participate

Vets Respond-5 C

Vets Respond-6 LVets Respond-6 R

Veterans, standing in acknowledgment, respond to their military songs and emblems

Proud Familes-7

 Proud families attend with their own veterans

Vets Reunite-8

          Fellow Soldiers Reunite

Tom Morris and Harry Hitt  /  WWII Ellis County Veterans

They first met on a snowy night in the Ardennes forest during the Battle of the Bulge.  Tom Morris was a Lt. Col, veteran of Normandy and the entire European campaign, 2nd Infantry Division.

Harry Hitt, a tank commander, received a battlefield commission of Lieutenant and was awarded the Belgium Croix de Guerre for his actions.

Following the war, these soldiers would meet again by chance on the Ellis County Courthouse square.  Unaware of being raised within mere miles of each other, they experienced the invisible threads intersecting their lives.

Veterans Enjoy-9L

Veterans Enjoy-9R

Veterans enjoy the camaraderie and appreciation shown for their service

Tom Morris-4  The audience enthusiastically applauds and recognizes these veterans

Commences Outdoors-11

The concluding program commences outdoors

Notable Attendees-12

     Congressman Joe Barton, General Kathy Frost, and Congressman Martin Frost  Previously Attend

Crowds-Rev4

 Crowds-Outside

Crowds fill the grounds for the closing events

Military Honor Guard-14Rev

A military honor guard follows with bagpipes, taps, and multi-gun salute

B-52 Rev

Vintage plane-4

Flyover-18L

A commemorative Air Force vintage airshow for the Ellis County Veterans ceremony

A Tribute to Veterans

The placing of a wreath concludes an emotional acknowledgment in honor of their service

“We stand on the backs of their sacrifice. Their history is our tradition, as long as there are Americans to remember…”

In Gratitude and Remembrance

Ellis County Veterans Appreciation Day
Waxahachie Civic Center
2000 Civic Center Lane
November 9, 2013
10:00 am

About Karen Evans

Advocate For Honoring Military Service
This entry was posted in Veterans and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s