Wednesday, November 30, 2022

The best of us

Local Editor | November 15, 2022 1:00 AM

KELLOGG — Near-freezing temperatures weren’t enough to keep the crowd away on Friday morning as the Silver Valley Veterans Memorial hosted a brief and stirring ceremony.

Following a message of thanks from local VFW Commander Chris Marker, Pastor Gene Jacobs — a veteran himself — discussed what exactly it is that makes the United States a place worth being proud of.

“A nation is not defined by the president it elects, it is not defined by the politicians who make promises to get elected,” Jacobs said. “A nation is defined by the identity it shares. By the ideals that it embraces. The United States is defined by ideals such as democracy, freedom, liberty, equality, justice and opportunity. These are the ideals our nation was founded on and still cherish today. A nation can also be identified by its citizens.”

Jacobs then quoted President Kennedy saying, “A nation reveals itself not only by the men it produces but also by the men it honors, the men it remembers." The best of which, stand before me today. These people who have sacrificially stood in the gap to defend their loved ones, fellow citizens, or those who could not defend themselves. Men and women who defend our nation and the people of our nation, you are the best of our nation, and today we salute you, we honor you, we thank you for your service.”

Jacobs explained how those traits that made these brave people exemplary soldiers also made them terrific citizens, teachers, coaches, leaders, business owners and mentors.

“We’re glad you’ve made the Silver Valley your home,” Jacobs said. “We thank you for making the Silver Valley better by your example and by the lessons you pass on to others.”

The Silver Valley has a long and storied history of veterans, including the well-knowns like Frank Reasoner and Ronnie McCoy, but also other men like Mike Groves, Chuck French, Doug Beeler, Art Hilton, and so many others — each of them memorialized on the walls with the Silver Valley Veterans Memorial. These brave men and women who have served our country selflessly deserve all of the respect in the world.

We honor them.

We remember them.

They are the best of us.

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