Murfreesboro salutes Veterans

Published 10:16 am Friday, November 13, 2009

MURFREESBORO — Rain and wind from a Nor’easter could not keep the crowd from gathering here to honor those who are fighting and have fought for freedom.

On Wednesday, a Veterans’ Day Celebration was held at the Murfreesboro Town Hall. Coordinated by the Murfreesboro Veterans’ Committee, the event featured music, speakers, a colors presentation and recognition of local veterans. Most importantly, however, the celebration honored those who are currently serving in the military and those who have in the past.

United States Navy Lt. Commander Christopher J. Valdivia of Raleigh was the featured speaker for the program.

“We do welcome you to this celebration,” said Murfreesboro Mayor Pro Tempore Molly Eubank to the crowd during opening remarks. “(To the veteran’s) thank you for your service and keeping our country safe.”

David Farnham of the Murfreesboro Veterans’ Committee cleared up the difference between Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day.

He shared a brief history of how Veteran’s Day came to be and how the holiday has roots in the end of World War I, which ended the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month (November) of 1918.

While Armistice Day had already been established honoring World War I veterans, Al King of Emporia, Kan. wanted to see the holiday expand. With the help of U.S. Representative Ed Rees, the bill was passed by Congress and President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed it into law in 1954.

Farnham said the difference between the two is simple: Memorial Day is to remember those who gave their lives while Veterans’ Day is for all that have served.

Farham introduced Lt. Commander Valdivia, who is a native of Glendale, Calif. and began his military career in 1990. Currently, he is the Commanding Officer of the Naval Operational Support Center in Raleigh. Valdivia was joined by his wife, Jennifer, as well as their two daughters, Gabriella and Sydney at the program.

Valdivia spoke about heroes, noting that his family owns a book about them and how those heroes defined by capes. He said are heroes all around us from local volunteers to veterans.

“Our cause is liberty, justice and freedom,” he said. “Millions breathe free today because of millions of American soldiers.”

Valdivia said there is a unique fellowship among those in the military, and to honor veterans means keeping the promises made to them, including providing the care they need.

“They’ve fought our wars, defended our shores and kept us free,” he said. “Support us as we fight.”

Before the program concluded, Bynum Brown thanked the Veterans’ Committee for their work.

“It was a very impressive ceremony,” he said. “The people here (committee members) have given a lot more than what you see here today.”

Mike Butrico, Shelly Dalziel and Charles Fisher of Chowan University along with Town Administrator Cathy Davison provided musical performances for the program.

Officers with the Murfreesboro Police Department presented the colors.