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Veterans Day Celebrated at Veterans Memorial in Johnson City

Hannah Swayze • Updated Nov 11, 2017 at 11:27 PM

An overflow crowd gathered at the Johnson City/Washington County Veterans Memorial Saturday morning to honor America’s veterans and those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

The solemn service mirrored those taking place across the country at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month — the day, date and time the armistice ending World War I took effect in 1918.

Though the weather was crisp and chilly at the memorial, next to Kiwanis Park in Johnson City, the number of chairs set up for expected visitors wasn’t enough to hold the crowd that came to see the veterans honored and recognized.

The ceremony honored veterans who were present, those deceased and several Gold Star families that were in attendance, who were given bouquets of red roses.

Each branch military's flag was presented and veterans in the audience were recognized.

After the ceremony, attendees were welcomed to remain at the memorial site and to take in the structures and read the names carved there.

"We have events like this to call attention to our veterans' memorial because we are proud of it and to honor the veterans. This is Veterans Day," said Moe Baines with the Johnson City/Washington County Veterans' Memorial Foundation.

"The title 'veteran' is not something that's given to us, it's earned. Once that's earned it can never be taken away. That's what made the country free."

U.S. Rep. Phil Roe spoke during the ceremony, talking about veterans in the area and praising the area's support and treatment of veterans. As the chairman of Veterans Affairs Committee, Roe spoke a little of actions the committee wants to take and of current projects making life easier for veterans.

A veteran himself, Roe acknowledged the weight that the day carries for the community and for himself as well. Ultimately, Roe underlined his final point by thanking all of the veterans and their families.

"I want to finish by just being thankful that I live in this amazing country surrounded by the people that I am surrounded by." Said Roe. "Every day ... the giving, the generosity I see, the caring and sharing that I see in this community is really overwhelming."

For more information on the Johnson City/Washington County Veterans Memorial, visit the foundation's website at http://www.jc-wcveteransmemorial.org.

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