Guests enjoyed a cooler-than-usual, overcast morning at the city’s annual Memorial Day ceremony, held at the Georgetown-Williamson County Veterans Memorial Plaza in Sun City.
The ceremony honored the men and women of our armed forces who gave their lives in service to our country. Speakers talked about those sacrifices, as well as the honor deserved by the Gold Star Families of those lost.
The event began with a missing-man flyover by Falcon Flight, a recreational aircraft formation flying team and the ceremony opened with the posting of colors by the Alexander Hamilton Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution. They were followed by the Pledge of Allegiance and playing of the National Anthem. While the music was provided by the 36th Infantry Division Band of the Texas Army National Guard, lyrics were noticeably sung by the 1,000-plus guests who were standing, as they were able, to sing the song proudly.
Veterans of previous and current conflicts were recognized, as well as active duty members and their families. County Judge Bill Gravell and USAF-Ret Tim Timko placed the memorial wreath at the Williamson County wall, honoring the 175 county residents whose names are etched into it.
Mayor Dale Ross and Ted Acheson placed the memorial wreath at the plaza wall, followed by the sounding of taps.
Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody introduced the guest speaker, Senator Ted Cruz, who mentioned that Georgetown was his one and only appearance for the day; he would be on his way back to Houston to be with his family.
The Senator spoke eloquently and forcefully about the greatness of Texas and the fighting forces who made great sacrifices for the country. He recalled a recent story about a soldier who was able to write home to his father about his walk with God, just prior to being killed in combat.
He also shared the origins of the phrase “There are no atheists in foxholes” and joked that while chaplains have been admonished for using the phrase, because it make atheists uncomfortable, he replied, “I always thought that was the *job* of a pastor to make atheists uncomfortable.”
The Senator added, “The legacy of the heroes we’ve seen… more than 30,000 Texans have given their lives to defend this nation. That’s the legacy of what it means to be a Texan. The next time you’re explaining to someone what it means to be a Texan, and since we’re Texans, we explain to everyone, what it means. Remember that is part of it—that 30,000 of our brothers and sisters have given their lives defending freedom.”