Decoration Day at The Kingsport Veterans Memorial - Politics and Honor

Decoration Day at The Kingsport Veterans Memorial - Politics and Honor

Published by: David Cate
June 5, 2024

For several years, I've joined our City in recognizing our Veterans. The weather cleared to sunshine on Memorial Day. When I parked across from Dobyns Bennett, I walked in with Paul Montgomery, who was running for mayor. We spoke briefly, and he patiently listened to my stories about the past five mayors. My work has allowed me to participate in many celebrations with these folks. Each one is different, and they all have my respect.

Meeting old and new friends always inspires me, and these Veterans' stories move me—and those who honor them—even more.

Each year, the City of Kingsport, area military organizations, and Sam Jones collaborate to create a touching presentation for our servicemen, women, and their families.

Today's presentation included a patriotic choir, the missing man ceremony, a 21-gun salute, prayer, a fire engine brigade, and a howling German Shepherd during Lee Greenwood's "Proud to Be an American."

It was a pleasure to meet two World War 2 Veterans. Virgil Peters from Scott County, at 94 years old, attended again, and I met more Vietnam vets from Gate City, Virginia, who hadn't crossed my path before.

Many of the region's political leaders were in the audience today. Mayor Shull, Congresswoman Harshbarger, John Crawford, Bud Hulsey, and others were respectful, and I'm glad to know them all. It doesn't mean we share politics, but I recognize hard-working people by their efforts, and these folks make a difference.

The hour-long ceremony concluded, and it was fitting for me to walk out with another mayoral candidate, Colette George.

I'm grateful to share memories and photos with these folks yearly on Memorial Day. I appreciate my friendships and the chance to share the stories of those who served our country and community. This is what the "Kingsport Spirit" means: remembrance.