As Air Force Indiana Air National Guard Col. Kip Clark addressed the crowd Monday, tears welled up in his eyes.
Col. Clark began thinking about the people who inspired him through his journey in the military.
"The examples who I know are in this room," Col. Clark said as he spoke during the annual Clay County Veterans Day Tribute, which takes place at the Clay County Courthouse. "They're in our community. They're in our lives every day ... Today, we look around the room and look around our community to thank them. We'll take today to remember them."
Col. Clark was the featured speaker at the event, sponsored by the V.F.W. and American Legion.
After being introduced by American Legion Post 2 Commander Randy Kaelber, Col. Clark began to discuss time he spent on Omaha Beach, a code name for one of the sectors of the Allied invasion of German-occupied France in Normandy during World War II.
Col. Clark, who is a member of the 181st Intelligence, based in Terre Haute, described the beach setting to those at the courthouse Monday, talking about a nearby garden and lawn.
In the garden, Col. Clark described the more than 9,000 white crosses.
"Some of them had names inscribed," he said. "They didn't sacrifice to have their names inscribed on a cross. They sacrifice so you can continue with your life ... all Veterans want all of us to live life free."
Kaelber welcomed all those in attendance to the event after a performance from the Jackson Township Community Band.
"We want to remember the families of those who have lost loved ones," Kaelber said.
After Col. Clark's remarks, the Jackson Township Community Band performed salutes to local Veterans before V.F.W. Post 1127 Commander Bob Bigley urged all in attendance to always remember history and Veterans.
"Share the history," Bigley said. "Tell the younger generations."
A final salute was fired for Veterans who lost their lives in service before a closing prayer was delivered.