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Judge Davis urges caution on Veterans’ Day

More than 50 people paid honor to America’s veterans on Saturday during a service at the First State Capital Site on the Hurley D. Conrad Memorial Bandstand. Harrison County Superior Court Judge Roger D. Davis addressed the gathering.
Davis, 49, who was elected judge in 1996, was a paratrooper with the 101st Airborne Division in the U.S. Military Training Mission to Saudi Arabia.
Referring to the holiday as a day of celebration, he briefly reviewed how Veterans’ Day began, offered a word of caution concerning our actions in the world, and recounted some thoughts and words worth repeating.
President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Nov. 11 as Armistice Day to remind Americans of the tragedies of war. The name was later changed by Congress to Veterans’ Day to honor all men and women who served in the military.
‘Nov. 11 marked the Armistice that ended World War I on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month,’ Davis said. ‘Veterans’ Day is often referred to as a celebration, a remembrance, a reminder of the tragedies of war, a reminder of the service and sacrifice of many.’
Davis said the United States today is ‘without question the dominant military and economic power of the world,’ and as such must use caution at a time when U.S. policies may influence events for generations.
‘Vietnam and Iran are examples of foreign policy decisions that have influenced events in the world for generations.’
He said, ‘On this day it is fitting that we recall all who served their country. Today we need no reminder of the tragedies of war. There is an almost daily reminder on the news of those dying in a foreign land.
‘We honor their service, their courage, their heroism and their sacrifice,’ the judge said. ‘We observe, we remember, we celebrate.’
The event was organized by former veterans service officer Ernie Emily and the VFW Old Capitol Post 2950. When he retired last year, Emily said some 3,200 veterans were Harrison County residents.
Erika Hefler, 13-year-old granddaughter of Ernie and Nyoka Emily, sang ‘God Bless America.’
Color Guards were presented by the Post and the Ladies Auxiliary.
Dignitaries, including Town Council President Fred Cammack and the new veterans service officer, Marion Wallace, were introduced.