Veterans, families honor their own
“No one has greater love than this, that someone would lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13.
That statement was the sentiment as people from around Sevier County met at the Courthouse in downtown Sevierville on Monday May, 26th, Memorial Day, to honor our veterans.
Dave Gorden opened the Memorial Day program followed by an invocation by Rev. Robert Mayhorn – Chaplain of the American Legion Post 104 of Sevierville who sponsored the event.
After the posting of colors by the 278th Armored Cavalry Reg., TANG, Guest Speaker Hallerin Hilton Hill from WNOX AM/FM Talk Radio sang the National Anthem. Peggy Burkhardt and Brooke French sang before Hill took to the mike to talk about freedom and “What America needs… One Nation under God.” He continued with, “Thank you to the fallen and those who have paid the ultimate price, thank you.”
It was a very emotional day for many on hand, including one retired veteran, Clarence Hankins of Sevierville. “I was in the Air Force in 1941,” he said choking back tears. “I can’t tell you how much this service means to me. It means everything to me.”
You could feel the emotion in the air as Master of Ceremonies Dave Gorden read aloud the Honor Roll of Sevier County Veterans who passed away from March 21, 2002 through May 21, 2003. Sheriff Bruce Montgomery was among the spectators. “I had an awful lot of friends on this list today. I thank God we live in this country.”
Another emotional part of the ceremony was when Judy Harrell, the widow of Lt. Tom Harrell, placed the ceremonial wreath at the front of the Court House.
The event, covered live by Jay Adams of WSEV Radio, went well with help from members of the Cub Scout Pack #100 from in Sevierville. “The Cub Scouts helped out a lot,” stated Cub Master Bob Kemp. “Earlier this weekend they helped the American Legion members place flags on the graves of veterans.”
It was a joint effort. “I’ve been involved for eight years now with the Veterans Day and Memorial Day Ceremonies,” said Bill