Portland found a way to honor veterans this year even though the nation is in the middle of a pandemic caused by the COVID 19 virus. The veterans’ celebration was held outside at the North Firehall. While the group was smaller than usual, all veterans were honored.
The Portland Chamber of Commerce sponsored the event with the cooperation of the City of Portland.
Chamber Events Coordinator Kristen Daughtry said, “Typically, we would do the Veterans’ Breakfast on a Sat. in November; however, due to COVID we felt like it would be better to do an outdoor ceremony this year.”
The Presentation of Colors by the Vietnam Veterans Of America Chapter 240 Sumner County Color Guard is an especially patriotic moment during the program. This presentation came after the welcome by Mayor Mike Callis and invocation by Bro. Ricky Morris of Living Free Fellowship.
During the program, Makayla McDowell sang the National Anthem and God Bless America. Command Sergeant Major (Retired) Brian Woodall led the Pledge to the Allegiance.
Brandon Murphy, CW3 (Retired), Marine Corps League Sr. Vice President Det# 603 was the guest speaker.
Murphy gave a history of Veterans’ Day stating that the day was originally proclaimed by President Woodrow Wilson as Armistice Day to commemorate the end of World War I on Nov. 11, 1919 at 11a.m. He praised those who served and are now serving. He spoke of the resilience of those serving in the military past and present.
Callis said, “Once again the Portland community gathered to honor veterans; and we are so thankful for their service and for the freedoms we enjoy here in America.”
During the program each veteran from the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard were honored and given a Veterans’ Day cap and commemorative coin. The 245 anniversary of the U. S. Marine Corps was recognized.
Pastor Matt Taylor of Portland Nazarene Church gave the benediction. Attendees stood as the Vietnam Veterans 240 retired the colors.