A record crowd and beautiful Arkansas weather resulted in a most enjoyable congregation as those wishing to pay tribute to our Nation’s Veterans

A record crowd and beautiful Arkansas weather resulted in a most enjoyable congregation as those wishing to pay tribute to our Nation’s Veterans gathered at the White Hall Veteran’s Monument on Monday afternoon. Though there was a possibility of a bout of severe weather, WH Museum Director, Mary Lou Mauldin along with the help of Cooter Falia remained on top of things and was prepared to let the show go on by raising a tent on the museum grounds. The American Flag was raised by the White Hall Fire Department and several area motorcycle groups formed a parade and arrived as a ride-in salute. All arriving Veterans were presented with patriotic hats to wear as they were taking their seats, a token of appreciation from the city’s alderman. Though keynote speaker Boe Fontaine was under the weather and was not able to attend, the ceremony White Hall Mayor Noel Foster stepped in giving his heartfelt appreciation to those who have served as well as well as their families and presented a proclamation proclaiming November 2012 as military family appreciation month. “When a young woman signs up to defend our Nation, her parents are enlisted as well, said Foster as he read the proclamation. When a father deploys to a combat zone, his children are called to serve on the home front. When the men and women of our military serve far from home their families fill the strains of their actions. In that absence, let us stand together as one American family and let us honor the brave patriots that keep our country safe. and let us forever hold close the memories of those who have perished in the line of duty. This month we reaffirm that we will always lift up our military families. Not just when their loved ones are away, but also long after the welcome home ceremonies are over.” Foster then called upon the citizens of White Hall and surrounding communities to honor them for their tremendous contributions they make in support of our service members in our Nation. The next speaker was Glen Minor, who is the Post Commander for the American Legion 232 in White Hall who recently completed a one year term as State Commander of the American Legion from which he has been involved in for the past 25 years, and is a Veteran who served as a rescue helicopter pilot in Southeast Asia, for the airforce, involved in the American Legion for the past 25 years. Minor read excerpts from the Douglas McArthur farewell speech, given at West Point in 1962. Minor also paid tribute to a local hero and medal of honor recipient, James L. Stone, who passed away Nov. 9, 2012 at age of 89. Minor concluded his speech calling out the names of those servicemen killed in action as a bell rang out for each one and Lewie Brown, Cdr. of VFW Post 4455, assisted by the WHJROTC, placed the Memorial Wreath. Col. David L. Musgrave, Commander of the Pine Bluff Arsenal, also a keynote speaker, commended the WHROTC for presenting the colors and the beautiful music played by the UAPB Quartet. “This community has a great sense of pride, said Musgrave. It has been evident from the first day we arrived here.” Musgrave also added that Nov. 13 marked the 71 years of the arsenal being in operation. “A Soldier, a Marine, a Sailor, an Airman are Veterans for life, he continued. Even though one day, when the uniform is removed, there is no amount of time or solace can severe the thread uniting these veterans in a unique and everlasting bond. Once a Veteran, a Veteran for life. Simper Fi, Go Navy, be strong, once a Veteran, always a Veteran.” Following his speech, Musgrave called out each military entity with those serving in each standing for a round of applause. Following the ceremony, refreshments were served and tours of the museum grounds were offered.