Veterans and children gathered around the flag pole Nov. 10, celebrating service to country and each other.
A couple hundred people joined Pine Grove Christian Academy at 5415 Highway 557 to dedicate the new pole. Veterans honored included those serving in World War II from all branches of the military.
U.S. Rep. Mick Mulvaney told students the occasion, a day before Veterans Day, could be special if they interact with veterans and learn stories of service.
“You get a chance to meet and talk with people who served the country,” he said. “The neat thing is they’re all around us every day, but we don’t know it, because we don’t ask enough.”
Charlie Hawkins, a World War II veteran, received a flag and honor from the state Legislature, presented by state Rep. Ralph Norman. Hawkins fought in the Battle of the Bulge, earning two purple hearts and almost three dozen military awards. He sat Tuesday among fellow World War II veterans Kenneth Ashley, Paul Deese, Otis Falls, Pinky Funderburk and Wally Martin.
Kenny Ashley, pastor of The Journey, said the service of those men and others like them was instrumental in the day’s activities.
“We may not be standing here today raising an American flag,” Ashley said. “They truly are a part of what we call this country’s greatest generation.”
John Marks: 803-831-8166