“The celebrity-obsessed culture … generates a large following,” Lovely said. “It is important to remember just who the real stars of America are.”
Lovely’s comments came after the county’s annual Veterans Day Parade, which started at the Trigg County Schools parking lot at 11 a.m. and ended at West Cadiz Park not long before noon.
Lovely quoted Ben Stein, who said that one of the “real stars” was a soldier sent to disarm a roadside bomb in north Baghdad a few years ago, a soldier who died when the bomb exploded. Lovely said he tried to disarm a bomb when he saw a little girl playing near it, and added that the little girl survived.
“Veterans Day is a time to honor … all of the outstanding men and women who served in our nation’s armed forces since our founding more than 234 years ago,” said Lovely, who mentioned a few noteworthy soldiers by name.
There are about 23 million living veterans, including some who still serve, and more than 665,000 active duty soldiers have deployed in the War on Terrorism, and more than 300,000 have deployed twice or more, said Lovely.
“It is tragic that the men and women who allow us to be safe in our homes are often without homes themselves,” said Lovely, who cited statistics that state that 23 percent of the American homeless population are veterans, and that 89 percent of those homeless veterans were honorably discharged, and 47 percent served during the Vietnam War.
“Whenever a Congressman complains about the cost of veterans programs, remind the lawmaker (of) the cost of being a veteran,” said Lovely, who talked about how soldiers have to endure separation from loved ones, the stresses of combat and too often have to give their lives.
Real appreciation for the troops is expressed via deeds, not words, said Lovely, who said that employers should “give extra weight” to veterans with the relevant experience, whether that employer is in the public or private sector.
Lovely also talked about the contributions women have made during the War on Terrorism, and mentioned the need to adequately treat trauma from domestic violence, harassment and and assault as well as cervical cancer.
The Trigg County High School marching band played two patriotic songs, while bagpiper Ed Moody played a patriotic medley and a Battle Hymn medley.
The U.S. Flag was folded while Marge Sumner of the James Thomas Chapter of the Daughters of the National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) talked about the significance of each of the 13 folds.
“There have been lots of events and wars since then, but we still honor and recognize that time period,” said Trigg County Judge Executive Stan Humphries.
Humphries also commented on the weather, which was unseasonably warm, and the large turnout, which he said might be the largest crowd for the Veterans Day Parade in years.
“It’s a beautiful day in Trigg County, and one that we had ordered,” Humphries said. “Two years ago, we didn’t have that luxury, we all kind of crowded into the VFW, but I don’t believe we could’ve gotten this crowd in the VFW.”
The names of Kentucky soldiers who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan this year were stated. And after a closing benediction by Rev. Jerry Bacon, a U.S. Army veteran, the Pennyrile Honor Guard gave a 21-gun salute and the American Legion Post No. 74 played “Taps.”
On Nov. 11, 1918, at 11 a.m. an armistice was signed between the German Empire and the Allies, leading to the end of hostilities of World War I.
Reportedly, there are three World War I veterans still alive in the entire world.