John Owens, 101-year-old Army veteran, was honored with a pinning ceremony which is to honor veterans for their bravery and sacrifice to this country. The pin given to the veteran is small in size, simple in color and contains just a few words: “We honor veterans”. It’s amazing that something so simple can mean so much, but this pin does. It serves as a sincere expression of our gratitude for bravery and sacrifice and an acknowledgment of the value of true heroes who walk amongst us every day.
It was a privilege to see this 101-year-old veteran honored for his service to our country. Owens is a member of Curtis A Smith VFW Post 1033 and four of his comrades were present to pay tribute to this special veteran. Commander Shawn Wright, Donald Cale, Louis Pendleton and Post Quartermaster, Bill Atherholt. were in attendance. Atherholt commented, “Thank you for your service to our great country. I was six years old when you were fighting in 1944. Thanks to you and many others like you, I speak English instead of German”. Also in attendance were Don Saville, Veterans Biographies Foundation, and Marian Paxton, VFW Post 1033 Auxiliary President.
Army veteran Owens was with Company 1-3rd Battalion-313th Infantry Regiment-79th Infantry Division that landed on D-Day, June 14th, 1944. The primary objective for the 313th Regiment was to work with the 4th, 9th, 90th and 79th Infantry Divisions and 82nd and 101st Airbourne Divisions to cut off and capture the Cotentin peninsula and the great port of Cherbourg, France. This mission was very important since the capture of Cherbourg would allow the allies to offload men and supplies much faster than other smaller and temporary ports and beach landings.
Commander Wright’s comments to honor Owens included “How does one put into words the magnitude of your sacrifice that enabled us to be where we are today? Where does one begin in expressing a truly heartfelt and deserving “Thank You”? World War II killed more people, destroyed more property, disrupted more lives, and probably had more far-reaching effects than any other war in history”.
Commander Wright continued “When World War II veterans returned home, many experienced the same reintegration difficulties that veterans from all wars do. WWII veterans persevered, started families, finished their education, and became the scientists, scholars, poets, and captains of industry that allowed America to prosper so much in the second half of the 20th century”.
“It is often said that your generation was the greatest generation that America ever produced. Now it falls to the succeeding generations, to the rest of us to honor your lives, the greatest legacy of the greatest generation, not with words or memorials or ceremonies and tributes. We are honored and obligated to you with our lives by fulfilling our duty. The duty to carry on your noble mission. We are privileged to have you in our lives and we honor who you are. For you have learned to bear the weight of defending freedom’s call and come home. That is what we give thanks for today.”
Comrade John Owens, we salute you today for all you did for our country. God bless the USA!
Thank you to ConnectionsPlus Healthcare and Hospice for honoring this special veteran today. We were proud to be a part of this special ceremony.
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