Underneath skies so clear and blue they belied the sacrifices made by many of the women and men being recognized, more than 100 people gathered in Richmond Hill’s J.F. Gregory Park for the city’s annual Veterans Day observance Friday morning.
Ralph Catlett, Richmond Hill’s fire chief and a 20-year Air Force veteran, said the day is special to him.
“Veterans are those people who put on a uniform in the morning and write a check to the nation saying ‘cash it at will,’” Catlett said. “…they are ordinary yet extraordinary human beings - people who have offered some of their life’s most vital years in service to their country, who have sacrificed their ambitions so others would not have to sacrifice theirs.”
Guest speaker Col. James K. Dooghan from Fort Stewart’s 2ABCT, 3rd Infantry Division concluded his comments by noting that “soldiers are not in the Army, they are the Army.”
“Our tanks and helicopters and howitzers are nothing without the trusted professionals who make them work. And those soldiers are a direct reflection of what is best about this nation. In fact, they are America. They are the heart, the soul of the greatest nation on this planet, and so are our veterans,” he said.
The observance concluded with Richmond Hill Mayor Harold Fowler and Dooghan laying a wreath on the city’s Veteran’s Monument and a 21-gun salute followed by Richmond Hill Police Sgt. Timothy Saia’s trumpet rendition of ‘Taps.’
The city of Savannah hosts its annual Veterans Day Parade at 10 a.m. Saturday in downtown Savannah. Pick up Sunday’s Savannah Morning News and visit savannahnow.com for complete coverage.