Calendar | Community | Family & Friends in the Armed Forces | Milestones

Community Action | Humane Society | YMCA

Lincoln speaker challenges: “Kids should be at Veteran’s Day celebrations”

Send a link to a friend  Share

[November 13, 2014]  LINCOLN - On Tuesday morning, a large crowd, many Veterans, gathered at the Cronin Brother’s VFW Freedom Hall in Lincoln for the annual Cronin Brother’s Veterans Day service.

The event began promptly at 10:30 a.m. with opening comments from Post Commander Michelle Ramlow. Ramlow thanked those in attendance for coming out, and offered acknowledgment of several military organizations represented in the crowd.

Among those in the room were representatives from the State VFW and VFW Auxiliary, Cronin Brother’s VFW Auxiliary, the Bob Graue Marine Corp detachment, American Legion Post 263, the Post 263 Auxiliary, its Sons of the American Legion, Military Order of the Purple Heart, Lincoln Police Chief Ken Greenslate and city of Lincoln Mayor Keith Snyder.

Pastor Ron Otto of the Lincoln Christian Church was called on to offer up an opening prayer. Before he turned to prayer, Otto commented on his admiration of the military men and women in our community. He spoke briefly about his experience as the father of a soldier and the time he has spent on his knees praying for the safety of his son.

Otto said he felt like he had given in his own way as a father, but said to the veteran’s in the room, “But you have done more.”

He commented on the color guard on hand, saying that he always appreciates doing a service where the guard is involved. He then told the group that the guard has a joke of which he never tires. He said, always one of them will say, “Pastor, if you go too long, one of us has a live round.”

After the prayer, the room stood for the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag and the National Anthem.

Ramlow then called on the guest speaker of the day Retired Command Sergeant Major Charles Brainard. Brainard is a Lincoln native with 28 years of service to our country.

Brainard filled a 15-minute space with a discussion of about the United States military forces and their duties to this country.

He spoke on the foundation of Veteran’s Day as it began in 1919, a celebration of the ending of World War I, and was called Armistice Day. He noted that it was veteran’s organizations that influenced the change and turned the celebration of the end of one war into a celebration of all veterans of all wars.

Brainard talked about the military in times of war, but also noted that it is the military that comes to the aid of those in need in times of natural disasters. He said it was our military servants who gave the political leaders of this nation the ability to reach out and give to those in need. He noted that we were the only nation on this earth that is capable of delivering such aid.

He commented, “I’m not saying we have always been the best example of the city on the hill. But I am saying that we have always tried to be the best example of the city on the hill. Because it was not a politician in Washington D.C. who provided the world this great benefit. It was the men and women in this room right now who wore the uniform who did that. It was always the man with a bayonet, the woman applying the bandage, the man applying the bandage, the person supplying drinking water that make the changes in the world. It is never the person in the top hat with the big cigar at the capital. That person is important, make no doubt, because they create the resources; but I have yet to ride into combat in a city like Felucia with a Senator.”

Brainard brought up some interesting facts about the armed forces, saying that we today have a smaller, yet more powerful and competent military than it was in 1940. He said the power of the U.S. Military makes them an unbeatable force. He said, "We are a nation that can impose its will on anyone, but chooses not to."

[to top of second column]

Brainard also talked about the quality of the military, saying that of today’s high school seniors out of every 100 students, 79 will not qualify to enter the military. He said of the 21 who are eligible to serve, 19 will never consider it. He said there were only 2 out of every 100 who were able and willing to serve.

He began his closing by asking, “So who is it that we celebrate today?”

He called on the different units of the military and said “Look around at that group. They come from all walks of life; they come from all faiths; they come from all different economic levels; they come from different schools. Veterans are every man and woman; they are everywhere; 22 to 24 million of us. You see them at work, at schools, shopping, and at church. They are the parents of kids running down the street in the neighborhood. So today, let’s resolve to make Veterans Day the day that Veteran’s deserve to have it be. More than it is now. More important to the nation than Labor Day; more important to the nation than stuffing themselves with turkey; more important than a break in February on President’s Day. Each of us needs to go from here this year and reach one, and teach one, that their very way of life was provided to them by the men and women we celebrate on this day.”

Brainard also commented about the attendance in the audience, saying there were no children, no teenagers, because they were all in school. He asked if they went to school for the other holidays -- Thanksgiving, Christmas, Presidents Day, Labor Day. He said that schools should not be in session. Kids should be at Veteran’s Day celebrations such as this one.

His final comment was a thank-you to the Veteran’s in the room. He encouraged to, if not already members, become members of the local veteran organizations.

When Brainard had finished, two members of the Ladies Auxiliaries, one form the VFW and one from the American Legion, did the ceremonial placing of the wreath in honor of veterans lost.

The day closed with a three-volley salute by the American Legion Post 263 Color Guard, the playing of taps by John Sutton, and a closing prayer offered by Pastor Otto.

Everyone in attendance was then invited to stay for the complimentary traditional ham and beans, and cornbread lunch.

[Nila Smith]

Back to top