Hail to the Heroes
A ceremony Saturday at the Clinton High School auditorium continued Laurens County's tradition of giving honor to the nation's veterans.
The 13th Annual Laurens County Hall of Heroes for 2017 honored: Michael Albert Carbonneau, James R. Smith, Sam Waddell, John Michael Reeder, Larry David Jones, Lowell Everet Bartley, Larry E. Lawson, Paul Alvin Nichols, James L. Templeton, Charles Franklin Roland, Ronnie Lee Hall, Johnson W, Mathis and Lonnie Owens Jr.
State Rep. Mike Pitts gave the keynote address, stating out many everyday occurances and bodies of government in the U.S. own their existence to the Constitution and its Bill of Rights. He said, "The Constitution that every member of the military sewar allegiance to protect is what separates us from every other country. It was won, kept and protected by a lineage of soldiers. It was not protected by a thug getting paid a million dollars a year to play a children's game."
The honorees and family members who attended the ceremony were aksed to come to the Clinton High School Auditorium stage to receive their honor and shake hands with the podium guests. The honorees' shadowboxes will be display at the Laurens County Judicial-Service-Administration for a year. VA Officer Carey Biolt said Hall of Heroes is a Laurens County project, and not a requirement of the Veterans Administration. A Christmas Tree lights project each fall and winter raises money for the Hall of Heroes plaques. Hall of Heroes expressed its thanks to L&L Office Supply, Clinton High School, Clinton High School JROTC, the staff of the VA Offices of Laurens and Greenwood, Lisa Yarber, Rick Hartman and Tom Bishop. The ceremony includes a 9-11-2001 video, speech by the late President Ronald Reagan and a MIA/POW remembrance table.
Yarber performed The National Anthem and America the Beautiful and special music included Amazing Grace and Taps. First responders were honored, and speakers said many first responders for Laurens County also are military veterans.