SIDNEY — The city of Sidney honored all veterans, including active military members, downtown on courtsquare Friday morning.
Close to 200 people attended the annual ceremony in which U.S. Air Force Veteran Jim Moorman was the guest speaker.
Serving as master of ceremony was U.S Marine Corps Lt. Chuck Craynon.
The Sidney High School choir performed a rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” Other participants included the Sidney VFW Post 4239 and Sidney Amvets Post 1986 and the American Legion Post 217 Fire Squad and the playing of “Taps.” Also in attendance were Shelby County Commissioners, with remarks from Shelby County Commissioner Julie Ehemann, Sidney Mayor Mike Barhorst and Sidney City Councilmember Darryl Thurber.
Barhorst told those gathered, “None of these veterans went to war because they loved fighting. They were called to be apart of something bigger than themselves. Simply put, veterans were ordinary people who responded in extraordinary ways during extreme times.”
Moorman addressed the crowd with an emotional speech about the cost of freedom and what a veteran is. He urged his listeners to learn from the past.
“We must always study the past to determine the path of the future,” Moorman said.
“Because of your unselfish service, I am able to practice the right of freedom of speech. I am able to assemble, and criticize government and those in it. I am able to worship as I please and not live in fear for my life. You and your comrades, through-out the ages, have provided to me a great gift: one of freedom. I realize freedom should never be taken lightly or for granted, as many peoples of the world can only dream of such freedoms. I also understand and acknowledge that these freedoms came at a price. — A human price; that can never be forgotten nor repaid … I am humbled to be in your presence, as you have provided me with so many precious gifts. I have not have the words to describe this gratitude, and can only provide a simple thank you when we meet.”
Moorman also spoke some words written by his wife of 40 years, Deb Moorman, that reminded people “veterans are no stronger than the families who support them.”Deb’s words described how proud she is to be the wife and a mother of two war veterans. Jim said his wife understands the “sacrifice and pain military veterans endure.”
“Everyday should be Veteran’s Day. And to many of you who stand before me, it always will be. May God bless each of you, and continue to bless the United States of America,” Jim said in closing while holding tears back.
“I’m so proud of my husband and my son for the service they did for their country. Protecting all of us back here. It’s an honor to be the wife and the mother,” Deb said as tears ran down her face.
Veterans of various ages and military branches crowded around the northwest corner of the Shelby County Courthouse, including Jim’s son, U.S. Army Afganistan War veteran, James Moorman, and friend U.S. Navy Iraq War veteran, Chad Ware.
James and Ware took the day off of work to attend and honor all veterans.
“I am here to honor my friend and his dad. His dad paved the way for guys like me and the decisions that we made, which obviously was to continue the traditions of our families. My family served in the military. His family served as well. It’s a family tradition,” Ware said. “It’s giving back to the community.”
U.S. Army Vietnam War veteran, Richard Snider said, “Veteran’s Day is always a special day for me. Any veteran is in my heart. Anything we can do anything to help them and their families is our privilege. We invite any veteran, or their family, to get assistance; please stop in to the (Shelby County Veteran’s Service Office).”
The Shelby County Veteran’s Service Office, located at 133 S. Ohio Ave., can be reached at 937-498-7282.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.