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Local News

May 29, 2012

Mayor offers thanks at VFW Memorial ceremony

DUNCAN — Duncan Mayor Gene Brown extended his appreciation to United States veterans during a speech Monday at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1192.

Brown was the guest speaker during the VFW’s Memorial Day ceremony. He talked about veterans who made the “ultimate sacrifice” by giving their lives to ensure the freedom of U.S. citizens.

“I’d like to commend you all for the job you do for Duncan, Okla.,” Brown said. “Freedom is not free. There is a price that has to be paid.”

He discussed soldiers and veterans who have provided a service to the country by defending what the country stands for, for the freedoms American’s enjoy. The ceremony was intended to pay homage to soldiers who have fought and died for the United States.

Brown told the audience he was in the U.S. Army for six years. He said being in the Army gave him an appreciation for soldiers who gave their lives to protect American freedom.

“It was one of the greatest experiences in my life,” he said.

He also talked about his son, who had entered the armed forces. In the time his son spent in the military, Brown could see a difference, a maturing within his son.

“I could tell the difference,” Brown said. “He had more respect for himself and respect for others.”

The VFW post property was decorated with numerous flags to represent the importance of Memorial Day. Brown said many of the businesses on U.S. Highway 81 didn’t put forth effort to recognize the holiday.

“There weren’t a lot of American flags on the side of the road,” Brown said. “I believe it was the Lions’ Club that used to put those out. I think we need to go back to doing it.

“We’re at a time in our country where we’re fighting wars and people are suffering because of those wars,” he added.

Brown said the lack of flags on U.S. Highway 81 didn’t provide a good representation on how important people feel their freedom is. But the veterans appreciate their freedom because they fought to protect that freedom.

“I know you all realize that,” he said.

He said one aim of older generations should be to inform and teach the younger generations the importance of celebrating days like Memorial Day or taking care of American flags.

Brown said it’s important to recognize the effort of veterans to defend freedom. It’s important to thank them, to remember them.

“Thank you all for what you do for Duncan, Okla.,” Brown said. “A lot of people don’t understand the price of freedom. On behalf of the citizens of Duncan, Okla., I want to say ‘Thank you’ for keeping that spirit alive.

“Millions of people are celebrating all over the country,” he went on. “As we go about our daily activities, we ask that you pray for our country.”

Sgt. Grant Hudson, post commander, led the wreath ceremony, where wreaths were placed on a false grave in recognition of the veterans. He concluded the ceremony by placing a small flag to wave over the wreaths and the grave.

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