By Faye Gaston

The 27th annual Bullock County Veterans Day Ceremony was held on November 11, 2021, at 11:00 a.m. in front of the courthouse. It was presented by the American Legion Post 2016, American Legion Auxiliary Unit #337, Bullock County Extension, and the Tourism Council of Bullock County.

There were 19 folks on the planning committee, with Gladys Leonard as chairperson. The sponsor was the City of Union Springs, with the support of 28 businesses/organizations.

Much appreciation goes to Stanley Cooks. He provided the chiming of bells that began the program at 11:00 a.m. He provided the taped music and sound system. His music provided the prelude, postlude, and Taps. He sang the National Anthem. He led the singing of "America the Beautiful," "God Bless America," and "An Honor to Serve." He played the identifying music for five branches of the Armed Forces. He directed the veterans to gather on the courthouse steps for a group photograph to be treasured and published in the local newspaper, the Herald.

The Bullock County High School JROTC posted the USA and Alabama flags and retired the flags. Future Leaders Imeri Brooks, and Jayla Foster, gave the "call to order" and led the pledge of allegiance to the USA flag.

Gene Nelson, the chaplain of Post 2016, prayed the invocation and closing prayer.

Col. (R) John C. Moody, Jr. gave the roll call of veterans. Rev Hawthorne Reed spoke the recognition of "those left behind."

Post 2016 Commander Clarence Wheeler introduced the featured speaker, Harry Christian, American Legion Past State Commander.

Faye Gaston spoke about the wreath presentation donated by the Bullock County Historical Society. It was placed by the World War I marker on the courthouse lawn by Alabama State Senator Billy Beasley and Faye Gaston to honor all United States military veterans.

John McGowan, County Commissioner, recognized the elected dignitaries present by name. Those who spoke "Greetings" were: State Senator Billy Beasley, State Representative Berry Forte, Ron Smith on behalf of Probate Judge James Tatum, County Commission Chairman Alonza Ellis, Jr., Union Springs Mayor Roderick Clark, and Roy Murry on behalf of Midway Mayor Mildred Whittington.

Heather Klinck, President of the Tourism Council of Bullock County, announced the winners of contests sponsored by Tourism in honor of veterans. Winners in the poster contest for grades 3-4 from the Union Springs Elementary School were: A'Journey Kennebrew, 1st place; Angel Alonso Jaquez, 2nd place; Isabella Parks Jernigan, 3rd place; and from Conecuh Springs Christian School, Maggie Sweat, honorable mention.

In the essay contest, winners were from Conecuh Springs Christian School: grades 7-9: Brock Anderson, 1st place; Jacob Smoker, 2nd place; Reese Green, 3rd place and Malia Lewis, honorable mention. For grades 10-12, Lott Putnam, 1st place; Cesar Bravo Mota, 2nd place; Brooke Graham, 3rd place; and J.D. Roe, honorable mention.

She announced the winners in the downtown window displays to honor veterans: Green Thumb Garden Club, 1st place; Magazine Club, 2nd place and Chunnunuggee Garden Club, honorable mention.

Goody bags were provided by the Bell Cook Hopson Unit #337 American Legion Auxiliary.

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