Underneath the autumn sun, the city of Mauldin held a special Veteran’s Day ceremony on November 11th at 11 AM. Local leaders and attendees gathered to honor war heroes and their families at the Mauldin Veterans Memorial, which is located between the Cultural Center and Sports Club. Several speakers showed up to praise our nation’s brave men and women who made sacrifices in service. Mauldin’s Mayor Dennis Raines served in the military and spoke thankful words to fellow veterans. Despite a little chill in the air, it didn’t stop the warmth the crowd felt for fallen and standing soldiers.
At the beginning of the ceremony, Greenville’s Home Depot shared what projects have been completed nationwide. To show their deep gratitude for those brave enough to serve our country, the company has built 45,000 veteran’s homes! They’ve also given 350 million and are projected to give a half a billion by 2025 nationwide. Following the Pledge of Allegiance, a Presentation of Colors by the Naval Honor Guard inspired admiration from spectators. As the Naval Honor Guard marched in a line, everyone stood in appreciation and watched the wind whip the flags around. Marine veteran Pastor Jeremy Bell led a prayer. Then, the musical group Crossroad Trio and their beautiful version of our nation’s anthem touched hearts. Mayor Dennis Raines took to the podium as a veteran of the National Guard 1st 178 Artillery service. He also served as a Mauldin volunteer firefighter, Vice President of Habitat for Humanity, Founder of the Mauldin Miracle League and was involved with Upstate Warrior Solutions. Mayor Raines says, “We’re here to honor our veterans. Since the birth of our nation, there have been brave men and women. They were called to be apart of something bigger than themselves. They were ordinary people who responded in extraordinary ways in uncertain times. Today, we say thank you. Thank you for the sleepless nights, and for sacrificing time away from your family, thank you for the missed holidays at home and the sacrifices of every day comfort. Thank you for risking your well being for us and rising to the challenges that allowed us to keep our freedom.”
After the closing remarks and song, veterans were asked to stand and walk to the memorial grounds. Neighbors, friends and family formed a line to formally thank them for their service. With every handshake, veterans and civilians united in appreciation. ♦