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Day of honor…

“When this happens,” he pointed out, “it puts our military forces at risk. “Most of the time when it happens the guilty party has never heard a shot fired in battle.”

A highlight of the service was the calling out of the names of Purple Heart recipients found inscribed on the memorial’s monuments. Four public officials participated as name callers. They were Hartselle Mayor Dwight Tankersley, State Representatives Ed Henry of Hartselle and Mac Buttram of Cullman and Morgan County Commission Chairman Ray Long.

As each name was called, a bell was sounded and a commemorative Purple Heart flag was presented to a family member or a friend in attendance.

Among those receiving a flag was Faye Ackerman of Hartselle. Her uncle, James David Player, a Marine, was killed in action at Okinawa .She was accompanied by World War II vet Dewitt Miller Sr. who served in both the Navy and Army.

“I think this is wonderful,” Miller said. “It’s educational for our young people.”

The colors were posted by members of the Priceville High School JROTC and members of the Patriot Guard stood with American flag during the entire service.

SFC Donna Johnson sang the National Anthem and the “Battle Hymn of the Republic and Nell Baker sang “Spirit of America,” a song she wrote. Steve Larsen played Taps at the close of the service.

Clifford Gissell, commander of Chapter 2212, gave the welcome and made closing remarks. George Mills, a World War II POW presented the POW/MIA table with the assistance of Woody Carpenter.

Father Patrick Egan of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church gave the opening prayer.

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