City of McKenzie Commemorates Memorial Day
Awreath adorns the downtown McKenzie veterans’ monument to commemorate the sacrifice of the men and women who fought for and preserved the freedoms Americans enjoy. They gave the ultimate sacrifice for this nation.
It was placed there at the conclusion of the annual Memorial Day ceremony on Monday at 10:00 a.m. Dana Deem of the United States Air Force (retired) and Billy Kirkendoll of the United States Navy (retired) represented the other veterans when they placed the wreath at the memorial.
Sergeant First Class Glyn Jones (retired), of the Tennessee National Guard was the featured speaker.
Speaking from the downtown gazebo, Jones said, veterans paid the price for our children and grandchildren. Some of the places throughout the world do not enjoy so many freedoms. “We are blessed” said Jones of the freedoms we have.
However, he was quick to say the rights come from God, not man. We need to pray for our country and politicians. We need to elect honest, moral leaders. He cautioned to be Memorial Day started as Decoration Day following the Civil War. The graves of Confederate and Union soldiers were each decorated by those who remained sympathetic to each side. Jones said we were a divided country – even following the Civil War. In 1966, it was changed to Memorial Day to honor the veteran men and women who served and have now passed from this earth.
Libby Hawkins sang the National Anthem and Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the U.S.A.”
McKenzie Cub Scouts Andrew Johnson and William Blue presented and retired the flags.
VFW Post 4939 Ladies Auxiliary provided refreshments at the end of the ceremony.
The city provided a viewing of the WWII movie “Unbroken” at the Park Theatre for the audience attending the ceremony.
Tom O’Bryant, Commander – U.S. Navy (retired) read a poem by Sherrie Ball. It is known as “I don’t know your name.”
I do not know your name, nor for which battle you died. I do not know your home, nor the tears that were cried. I do not know where you rest, nor the promises broken. I do not know your uniform and your fears lay unspoken, but, I know your spirit exists- that your courage is admired, and your sacrifice is honored, by each soul that’s inspired.
And I offer you from my heart, thank you, to guardians unknown for offering yourselves for us all. That we may keep freedom… Our home.
Sergeant 1st Class Jones served in the Tennessee National Guard for 42 years. He began his career in 1967 with the 4/109th Company A in McKenzie, later transferring to Trenton’s 4/109 HHC and retiring from Jackson’s 194th Engineers Brigade in 2009. Jones served in Iraq with the U.S. Army National Guard.
Glyn has been a business owner in McKenzie for 40 years. He began his career working with F.H. Noel Electric in 1971, he worked there until Mr. Noel’s retirement in 1977 when the business became Jones Electric. He is a partner with his two sons at Jones Electric and Automation in McKenzie. He and his wife Janis (Anderson) have been married for 48 years and have four children and eleven grandchildren.