By Jamison Hooks staff writer
In honor of Veterans Day, Centennial Baptist Church, in Rutledge, dedicated their Sunday service to the brave men and women who have fought to defend the United States of America. Every seat in the Church was filled on Sunday Nov 9 as members of the congregation as well as visitors from the community, came to show their support for veterans with a morning of worship. “Our Veterans service centers on two things, honoring God and honoring those he has used to help shape our nation,” said Dr. Michael Stovall, Lead Pastor at Centennial Baptist Church. Veterans and Active Duty Military personnel along with their families were honored at this service. Morgan County High School (MCHS) AFJROTC cadets were present at the celebration to post the American Flag and lead the Pledge of Allegiance. Veterans were asked to stand and be recognized as their service flag was posted. Veterans from the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Merchant Marines received a round of applause as each individual branch was recognized. Vietnam Combat Veteran Gary McCullough took the stage to recognize Veterans of wars and conflicts. “Just as his father, grandfather, and great grandfather he’s paid the price for our freedom. He is an American fighting man who has kept our country free for over 200 years. He has asked nothing in return except our friendship and understanding. Remember him always for he has earned our respect and admiration with his blood. Now we have women in danger doing their part in the tradition of going to war when our nation calls us to do so,” said McCullough. After the moving service, veterans in the audience were appreciative for all the support they were shown. “This morning meant a lot to me. It means that our service during war was not in vain, and that men and women are still being honored for their sacrifices,” explained County Commissioner Donald Harris who is an Army Veteran and a Purple Heart Recipient. Those in the audience were wowed as the Marines’ Hymn began to play and a spotlight flashed down on the stage to reveal a re-enactment of the iconic “Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima”. “It is an honor that our church takes the time to pay special tribute to those who protect our rights to practice religion,” commented Superintendent of Morgan County Schools James Woodard. The purpose of Centennial Baptist Church’s Celebration Service was to honor those who have defended our country. The enormous outpour of support from all those in attendance showed veterans how much they mean to the Americans they have fought to protect. After the service, Veterans and their families were invited to enjoy a specially prepared meal to thank them for their sacrifices. “This morning was a wonderfully moving program to honor our veterans. It was a special reminder to appreciate the freedoms we have,” stated County Commissioner Ellen Warren.