Senior Center celebrates Memorial Day

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, May 27, 2015

NW0527 Senior Center Memorial Day B

Local veterans were recognized for their service and sacrifice to their country during a Memorial Day ceremony at the Elizabethton Senior Citizens Center Tuesday morning.

The annual event honored veterans who had given the supreme sacrifice by losing their lives in battle, and recognized surviving veterans for their service.

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The short ceremony featured a salute to the veterans, poem readings, a POW/MIA ceremony and recognized veterans in attendance.

“We feel it is only appropriate to honor the veterans we still have with us, and to remember those that are no longer here,”senior center director Kathy Dula said. “We have a lot of veterans here with us as members of the senior center. We still have some World War II veterans with us, but there are not many of those left. It is important to honor them on Memorial Day.”

Three World War II veterans were in attendance at the ceremony. Ralph Gouge and Calvin Caldwell served in the Army and Hollis Cable was in the Army Air Corps.

“Where’d you serve?” Guy questioned Caldwell after the ceremony was over.

Caldwell responded he had been in Italy during World War II and Gouge had served in England, France and Germany along with a variety of other countries, but Cable had the highest number.

“I was stationed in 22 different places,” Cable said. “I flew in a B17 bomber.”

The men agreed they enjoyed the ceremony hosted by the center each year.

“It is a real nice ceremony,” Caldwell said. “I was a little disappointed there weren’t more ceremonies in the city this year. This one is just about the only one left. It is disappointing there weren’t more.”

For ceremony leader Pete Voigt, past commander at the American Legion, it is important to keep the Memorial Day celebration going.

“This shows our thanks and appreciation to those who have served, those that are missing or have passed on and those that are still alive today,” Voigt said. “This is not just a ceremony for veterans in Elizabethton. This is a ceremony for veterans around the world. It shows a respect for our country, for our servicemen and for the people who have respect for our flag.”