SALUTE TO ALL VETERANS
Today I have the privilege as Col. Benjamin Hawkins to parti-
cipate in one of our Nation’s most needed of celebrations-
a day for honoring our country’s noble veterans, whose dedication to duty & service has been displayed by generations throughout our history. We salute them all with deep gratitude and recognize that without this day, no other celebrations in America would be possible.
I must thank the Fort Hawkins Commission and the Nathanial Macon Chapter NSDAR for sponsoring such a patriotic event.
I must further thank the many patriotic organizations that are participating in today’s Salute. The American flags that you are retiring reflect all of Nation’s veterans – past, present, and future. We salute your groups’ dedication in preserving with pride all of this service to our beloved country.
Of course our biggest thanks must go to these many veterans that you represent and remember today. They have paved the road to freedom that makes this day possible. I am proud to have served on Gen. George Washington’s Revolutionary War Staff, thus becoming one of our Nation’s very first veterans. I am humbled that my final resting place on the Flint River, marked by a marble veteran’s memorial, has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
I am proud that my namesake fort played such a critical role in the 2nd War of Independence, the War of 1812, as both U.S. Army and Georgia Militia Headquarters. It is an amazing historical continuity of the citizen soldier’s dedication and service to country to have the 48th Brigade of the GNG represented today. Their roots go back to the days that Fort Hawkins flew the star spangled banner that you see flying before you today. We salute your continuing service to our great Nation.
Likewise, another reflection of our future veterans’ continuity of dedicated service is found daily in the heavens above from RAFB. We salute your ongoing service to country. It is true that “every day in Middle GA is Armed Forces appreciation day” but we should mindful that such began at Fort Hawkins in 1806 with its mission to provide for the National Defense and to stimulate the local economy at this frontier fort & factor
So what better place to have this observance than at the very
place that the first veterans served in Middle GA 200 years ago. We will not forget the legacy begun at Fort Hawkins and continued with Camp Hope, both Camp Wheelers, Miller Air Field, Cochran Air Field, our Confederate defenders, the U.S.S. Macons –both airship and warship. We have been blessed with a proud military tradition in Middle GA stretching back to the American Revolution and even into the Outer Spaces with Astronaut Sonny Carter.
No matter how many stars our veterans have served under, their service to our country has insured that our “life, liberty, & pursuit of happiness” has continued and prospered. Today we salute them with pride & joy for making our country and world a better place.
The flags being retired today should be seen as living reminders of our veterans’ service throughout our Nation’s history. As we lovingly offer the flags to the flame, may the fire of remembrance and reverence be rekindled forevermore for Fort Hawkins and all of nation’s veterans. God Bless You for attending.
God Bless America and God Bless America’s veterans!