‘We are truly free…’

A fair reminder of our veterans’ sacrifice

Times Observer photo by Josh Cotton Veteran Bunky Froman salutes the members of the Civil Air Patrol as they retire the Missing Man table as part of an event on Wednesday at the Warren County Fair designed to honor our area’s veterans.

The Warren County Fair is a pretty festive place.

But a portion of the Fair took on a more serious tone for a bit on Wednesday afternoon as some time was set aside to honor our county’s veterans.

Several local dignitaries spoke and the Civil Air Patrol presented a Missing Man table — a ceremony designed to remember those soldiers who left to serve overseas and never returned.

President Judge Maureen Skerda said she was “so honored” to be able to greet a group of veterans in this way, “people who have been dedicated… To duty.”

She said her father, a World War II veteran, recently passed away. Her father didn’t speak much about the war, she said, but would always say that he “did his duty.”

State Representative Kathy Rapp spoke about the recent returns of remains of US personnel from North Korea.

“It is heartwarming to see (that) the remains of… Korean soldiers hopefully will be identified,” she said. “Families can finally have closure… (I am) thankful for this administration for making that possible and bringing those remains home.”

Being part of a military family, Rapp said, “I know the sacrifices our men and our women and the families (make). We owe all of you a debt of gratitude that truly can never be repaid.”

“We are truly free… Because of you.”

“Each and every one of you are heroes,” State Senator Scott Hutchinson said. “You deserve our everyday thanks…. I think it is a fitting tribute and another very, very small thank you to our hometown heroes.”

Warren County Veterans Director Ed Burris thanked the Fair Board for “allowing me to work with them to put this together to honor our veterans. (It) truly is a great spot in their heart to allow for this to happen.”