American Legion Post 254 (Collinwood) and Post 130 (Waynesboro) held their annual Veterans Day Ceremony at the Collinwood Middle School gymnasium on Thursday, November 11th, 2021. Maj. Larry Keith Wright (U.S. Army, TN Army National Guard, Ret.) was the emcee for the event. The invocation was offered by Chaplain Gary Anderson, followed by the playing of the National Anthem by the WCHS/WMS band.
Collinwood Mayor Glenn Brown spoke to the crowd, and a plaque was presented to Commander Seth Norris, Waynesboro Squadron 130 Sons of the American Legion in recognition of the great volunteer work they have done in support of veterans and their families across the community.
The American Legion Color Guard proudly posted the service flags for each branch of the military, along with the POW/MIA flag. MC Wright mentioned one service member, WWII Army Pvt. Warren Devault of Rhea, Tennessee, whose remains were finally returned home this year after remaining unidentified until 2019. Pvt. Devault was killed in action in November of 1944.
Wayne County veterans from each war and conflict all the way back to World War II were recognized, including those who have served during the global War on Terrorism that officially began on September 11th, 2001. This fight continues to this day, with 7,060 American service members having lost their lives so far in the conflict.
The ladies from the “Quilts for Vets” project were on hand once again to present quilts to veterans who had not yet received one from the group. These ladies, who call themselves the Sew-and-Sews, are truly dedicated to this handmade quilt project for local veterans.
Speeches were made at the event by Wayne County Mayor Jim Mangubat, Veterans Service Officer John Allen Berry, and Army Command Sgt. Maj. Dennis Creecy (Ret.). Sgt. Maj. Creecy is also the current Commander of American Legion Post 254.
Mrs. Lisa Calton and her granddaughters Shawna and Shaina sang a beautiful rendition of “God Bless America,” and “Taps” was performed on trumpet by the Collinwood Band in honor of the 38 veterans from Wayne County who have passed away over the course of the last year.
This very touching ceremony was once again a great and reverent tribute to all the members of the United States Armed Forces, and undeniable patriotism was felt by all those who attended.