TOP PHOTO: The La Follette Fire Department continues its tradition of showcasing Old Glory on Memorial Day from the Peoples Bank parking lot in Downtown La Follette.
By Charlotte Underwood
JACKSBORO, TN (WLAF) – A crowd gathered at the Campbell County Courthouse for the Memorial Day Veterans’ program on Monday morning. The annual event honored all veterans, especially those that made the “ultimate sacrifice defending our freedoms.”
This year’s special guest speaker was Vice Admiral Ricky Williamson, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations. The Vice Admiral works at the Pentagon and lives in Washington DC. He is the nephew of Campbell County Honor Guard member Ernie Cornett.
Vice Admiral Williamson is a native of Jacksonville, Florida and is a 1985 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. He has been on many sea assignments and tours. He commanded the USS Simpson during NATO’s Standing Naval Forces Atlantic 2004 deployment to the United States, the first such visit by NATO to the U.S. after 911. Under his command, the USS Simpson won two Battle “E” Awards.
Williamson said it was an honor to be invited to speak in Campbell County on Memorial Day.
“We are here today for the remembrance of both people and events. To remember the true heroes that gave their lives for the right to live in the land that is free ” Williamson said.
The Memorial Day program also included a salute to all fallen veterans, the playing of Taps, as well as a presentation of wreaths, and a presentation of the meaning of the 13 folds of the American flag.
Williamson closed his speech asking everyone to remember the sacrifices made by the millions of Americans lost to battle.
“As we honor their memory, let us pledge that their lives, their sacrifices, their valor shall be justified and remembered for as long as God gives life to this nation. And let us also pledge to do our utmost to carry out what must have been their final wish that no other generation of young men and women will ever have to share their experiences or repeat their sacrifices.” (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 05/31/2022-6AM-PHOTOS COURTESY OF WLAF’S CHARLIE HUTSON-REPUBLISHED – 05/29/2023-6AM)