Rain doesn't dampen patriotism

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Ret. Col. Don Moreau pins Bronze Star medal on Jim Ochs, who received the award for combat duty in WW II, as Jasper Jordan Jr. observes. Ochs was in the U.S. Army during WW II.

Patriotism was flying high Tuesday morning during the Veterans Day service at the courthouse. The rainy weather caused the program to be moved inside but it did not diminish the size or enthusiasm of the crowd, estimated to number 300.

The entire Annunciation school showed up and the kids held a banner which read, "Support Our Troops". The Jackson Township Band played history rich marches and accompanied Wayne Schepper who sang, "My Buddy".

Featured speaker Retired Col. Don Moreau held everyone's attention when he spoke of Duty, Honor and Country. He quoted General MacArthur from a speech he made at West Point in May, 1962.

"These three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be and what you will be. They are your rallying points: To build courage when courage seems to fail, to regain faith when there seems to be little cause for faith and to create hope when hope becomes forlorn."

Moreau quoted Edwin Locke -- "The best way we can honor our veterans and give real meaning to Veterans Day, ...is to promise that we will go to war only when America's interests as a free nation are threatened.

"The events of 9/11 have made it abundantly clear that there exists Muslim fanatics whose goal is to destroy our country and the values it stands for. It is clearly in our self-interest to use that full power of our military might to destroy those who would destroy us."

"I agree!" Moreau said adamantly, adding, "Now those of you who collectively committed us to the war on terror should stand up and be counted. Either support our sons and daughters with all of the tools available or, if it is the will of the people to quit, bring them home. ...

"On this Veterans Day, maybe it is time we believe in our military system, and those who serve, and we will not forget them, nor will we blame them for doing what they were ordered to do."

After his talk, Moreau had a special presentation giving Bronze Star Medals to Jasper Jordan Jr. and Jim Ochs for combat duty during World War II. Both men served in the U.S. Army.

Emotions couldn't be held back when the service concluded with the playing of taps. Soft sounds of crying were heard throughout the solemn and reflective crowd. And even the men wiped tears from their cheeks.

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