Events held in both Sherman and Denison honored veterans on Veterans Day Saturday. Denison’s annual parade, which is always held on a Saturday happened to coincide with the official Veterans Day date of November 11th this year. Sherman’s annual memorial is always held at 11 a.m. on November 11th to memorialize the origins of Veterans Day.
Special Guest Speaker Jimmy Cantrell with the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2772 of Sherman gave a short history of the holiday during the memorial. Veteran’s Day grew out of Armistice Day, a holiday commemorating the end of hostilities in World War I. The war formally ended on the eleventh hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. Eventually, the holiday grew to commemorate the sacrifice of all those in the armed forces.
Justice of the Peace for Precinct 4 Rita Noel was in attendance at both the Sherman memorial event and the Denison parade. Noel is the mother of two veterans and the wife and aunt of veterans.
“Veterans are very dear and close to my heart,” Noel said. “When I started the breakfast club for the North Texas Veterans Court it was amazing. I love them. I will do anything that we can for them. We are trying to start different things for them and be there for them.”
The NTVC will hold it veterans breakfast on November 17 at 8:30 a.m. at the old courthouse assembly room on Houston Street. Attendees will be provided breakfast along with mentoring, meditation and prayer services.
Parade goers lined Main Street on Denison Saturday in support of all military branches. The parade was led by a marching band and followed by a parade of military vehicles, a train and several groups on foot. Motorcyclists and vintage car drivers waived and thanked the crowd, some for their service and the others for their support.
Veteran James Hurtt attended the parade with a supportive group of friends. He said he loves Veteran’s Day because it gives him an opportunity to honor those that served before him.
“I went through two (tours of duty) in Iraq and one in Afghanistan,” Hurtt said. “Some of these other guys went to Vietnam and all this. They didn’t have the same equipment that we had. They didn’t have the body armor. They went through so much more than what we did. It helps me process … the PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) and everything that these guys had it worse and I had it easy. That helps me to deal with stuff.”
Mayor David Plyler spoke at the Sherman memorial. He thanked the men and women of the armed forces saying he is forever humbled by them.
“One of the great things about living in the city of Sherman is how much we value our veterans and how much patriotism we show throughout our city,” Plyler said. “As we stand here today, we are reminded of the names on the monuments here. It’s one of the things I value about living in this city. In other parts of the country, people don’t do enough to recognize the sacrifice of the men and women in uniform.”
Grayson County Judge Bill Magers also spoke at the memorial. He explained it is not enough to merely thank veterans for their service.
“In order to honor your dedication, your patriotism, your sacrifice — we need to do other things,” Magers said. “We need to vote. We need to live our lives as good Americans. We need to encourage our young people to serve in the armed forces. My commitment to you today is to do that.”
Lori Avery and her husband attended the Denison parade in honor of Avery’s father Mike Cottrell who currently lives in California.
“My daddy didn’t have to go,” Avery said. “His brother was already in Vietnam, so he didn’t have to go. But he waived his right and went anyway because his brother was there.”
Cantrell ended Sherman’s memorial by calling Americans to recognize their responsibilities.
“The war on terrorism has helped us realize how truly unique the American way of life is,” Cantrell said. “The freedom we enjoy is extremely special. That is why we must defend it. Each of us carry that responsibility.