This Veterans Day, the town of Sand Fork is doing something special. It's honoring those Gilmer County residents who have served and continue to serve our country.
On Sunday afternoon, members of town council unveiled the latest additions to the Sand Fork Veterans Memorial. The plaques honor more than 200 members of our military, some even dating back to the Civil War and the War of 1812.
"This thing was set up that not only does it honor the fallen, but it also honors the people who are still here, still serving," said councilman Martin Hess.
For Gilmer County Sheriff Larry Gerwig, the ceremony had a personal meaning.
"I've got two boys. Both are on the wall. They were one of the first ones in to Baghdad in Iraq when they started. Thank God they're all in one piece," said Gerwig. His sons, Brandon and Aaron, served the nation in the National Guard.
Mayor Heidi Love is the daughter of a veteran. Love said it's great to see the community come together for those willing to make the ultimate sacrifice.
"We have a great council here, very supportive and very outgoing, just go-getters. They get an idea, and they just run with it," said Love.
Love wasn't alone in her support for area veterans.
"It's a good thing to celebrate for the veterans....very brave men," said Hunter Wilson, who attended the dedication.
Those brave men include Charles Kenneth Black, who served in the U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II. Black's name was one of those unveiled at Sunday's dedication. He said just hearing "Taps" brings him back.
"It's hard for me to talk about," said Black. "I'm glad to be here, though. Every time I hear the 'Taps' playing, I keep flying."
"This is going to be an ongoing thing. If need be, we'll build two more walls. Whatever it takes," said Hess.
Sunday's event was just one of many events in our area honoring local veterans. Several local businesses and restaurants are offering free meals on Monday, and Lewis County declared it "Veterans Appreciation Week."
If you know of a Gilmer County veteran whose name isn't yet on the Sand Fork Veterans Memorial, contact Hess Sue Edwards, or Judy Jones on town council for an application.
This isn't the only project in the works honoring area residents. Town Council is also developing a history museum for the public, which will showcase pictures and artifacts dating back to the 1800s.
Any residents with contributions or can lend to the museum should contact the Sand Fork Town Council.