The Loris Women’s Coalition held their third annual Salute to Loris American Heroes, a Veterans Day tribute. Veda Nichols, director and coordinator, along with the lady members of the coalition spent Saturday morning, Nov 10, at 10 a.m. honoring the Loris veterans.
Nichols welcomed guests speaking of the poem, “The Noble and the Brave”, by Joanna Fuchs. When America had an urgent need, these brave ones raised a hand; no hesitation held them back; they were proud to take a stand. They left their friends and family; they gave up normal life; to serve their country and their God, they plowed into the strife. They fought for freedom and for peace on strange and foreign shores; some lost new friends; some lost their lives in long and brutal wars.
She stated she served in the Army and is proud to have served her country and thanked those in attendance for their sacrifice and duty to their country.
The Loris High School All County Chorus provided a musical salute to veterans with patriotical songs. They sang The Star Spangled Banner as the Loris High School Color Guard posted the colors of the American and South Carolina state flags.
Nichols introduced one of the guest speakers, Mayor Henry Nichols, who stated that he served 20 years in the United States Marine Corps and is proud to celebrate the sister organizations. He recognized the city council members and city administration in attendance. He thanked the women’s auxiliary, how each member puts much work into the program and asked to recognize them by applauding. Nichols introduced Senator Greg Hembree, “My good friend and Senator Greg Hembree,” he said, while providing a brief biography of Hembree’s service to our area before inviting him to the podium.
Senator Hembree, thanked the veterans who served in the U.S. military inside and outside of our country. He stated, “Our veterans step up, face the danger and risk their life for you and others.” Hembree stated that serving in the military is the highest form of public service an American who decides to join a branch of the service can do. Recognizing the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, he quoted the beginning of Veterans Day. “On this the 11th day, the 11th hour.” Referring to Armistice Day is commemorated every year on Nov. 11 to mark the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the termination of hostilities on the Western Front of World War I, which took effect at eleven o’clock in the morning.
He stated that World War I was the most destructive war with nine million soldiers killed and six million civilians died. Because of the service we think of where we are now. Peace looks attractive and people do not reflect upon that enough. He said, “Rudy Giuliani, then mayor of New York, attended thousands of funeral services after the attack on the twin towers on 9/11.” He said Giuliani’s secretary became a widow of a first responder to the towers that dreadful day. This is a public service position where he chose to honor those who served as police and firefighters and lost their lives. He said, “Veterans have two lives, one before service and two after service.” He concluded with the poem, In Flander’s Fields. “We are the dead. Short days ago we lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, loved and were loved, and now we lie in Flander’s fields.” He ended with, “Thank you for your service, and God bless America.”
Quanterria Vick read the poem, “To the People of September 11”. She read, “To every soldier who pledged America will never know the heartache again, you are heroes. We are indebted to your continued sacrifice to make our world and our families safe.” Brantlee Gerald and Alyssa Ruppe sang, “In Flander’s Fields”, with irony as Hembree had read the poem at the conclusion of his speech.
Again Veda Nichols stood at the podium thanking everyone for attending the third annual veterans program, inviting them to lunch in the community room. She had door prizes, $25 gift cards from various stores and a $75 Wolpert’s store gift card. She thanked the Loris High School chorus and Scarlet Whittington, director, for the beautiful music. She then recognized the lady members of the coalition, Ruby Melvin, Linda Morrison, Shirley Craigie, Pat Adkins, Jenny Jones, Dinah Vereen, Linda Pickens, Nancy Barnes and Amanda Mills for their dedication to the program in helping make it a success.
Felishea’s Catering Service provided pasta salad, sub sandwiches, assorted pastries and other finger foods and coffee, tea and lemonade.
The Loris Women’s Coalition is a group that supports the mayor, city employees and the citizens of Loris through community programs and services designed to increase the morals and improve the quality of life of Loris citizens.