The Potter-Henry-Lowrey Post and Unit 72 of the American Legion were able to resume their Patriot Day program this past Friday.
Although perhaps triggered by the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, the program salutes all military personnel and emergency responders. It also remembers those who gave their lives in the 11 conflicts our country has been involved in.
The keynote speaker was Chester Harrison, who is both a veteran and pastor.
Harrison stated several times that, “I am a warrior,” both for his country and for God.
He talked about where he was when 9/11 occurred and the rage he felt. “The people who carried that out were not warriors,” he said. “They were cowards. Warriors have great respect for life.”
“From that moment we started waging war,” he continued. “We should have started sooner. We were asleep.” In fact, Harrison said he “tried to suit up again but they told me I was too old.”
“For the past 20 years, we kept at bay the Taliban and Isis,” he said. “I fear those days are behind us.”
He was pleased with the unity seen after 9/11, but saddened that it seemed to evaporate too quickly, that the “Never forget” motto did not endure.
“Our soldiers stand between us and the bad guys,” he said. “It’s evil against good.”
“We better come together as a county, a community, a church,” he said. “It is the Grace of God, the Hand of God is why we are blessed.”
The program also included placing a Freedom Wreath and wreaths for each war era, and the POW/MIA ceremony.