As the flag flew high, Ms. Kimberle Kenworthy, a member of the American Legion Auxiliary Arick L. Lore Unit 274, sang the National Anthem. It was followed by an invocation by Robert E. King, a member of American Legion Gray-Ray Post 220. Patricia McCoy, American Legion Past National Executive Committee Person and a member of American Legion Stallings-Williams Post 220, led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Bob Sprecher, American Legion District Six 2nd Vice Commander acted as the master of ceremonies. He introduced the dignitaries in the audience.
Michael Wood, Chairman of the Calvert County Veterans Commission, talked of the needs of our local veterans and the hope that the new Veterans Commission would provide needed assistance.
Ms. Mollie King, Regent of the John Hanson Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution provided a background on the group. She also told the group that two new names had been added to the Korean War Monument – Sgt. Joseph Enoch Gantt and Pfc. Louis A. Saunders. Both men were taken as prisoners and died in captivity. Sgt. Gantt’s remains were returned in 2013, more than sixty years after he lost his life. Pfc. Saunders remains have not been found.
Chaplin William Miller, Calvert Hospice, told the group to remember our veterans in Hospice. Currently there are eleven veterans in the program. Calvert Hospice strives to enhance the quality of life of their patients and their families, assisting them to make the most of every day that they have together.
Wreaths were placed at each monument by a veteran and a representative from each NJROTC program and the Calvert County Civil Air Patrol. A gun salute was done by the American Legion Rifle Squad made up of veterans from Calvert Post 85, Stallings-Williams Post 206, Gray-Ray Post 220 and Arick L. Lore Post 274. This was followed by a lone bugler playing Taps.
Patricia McCoy then introduced the guest speaker, Lieutenant Richard T. Cox, Jr. Lt. Cox joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 2000, completing boot camp in Parris Island, South Carolina. He served two tours in Iraq and achieved the rank of Sergeant. He was honorably discharged in 2004. He then joined the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office. Lt. Cox said his time as a Marine taught him much that he has carried throughout his life.
Bob Sprecher gave closing remarks and added that American Legion Arick L. Lore Post 274 and American Legion Stallings-Williams Post 206 would have open houses where you could learn more about becoming a member of the American Legion Family.
Kimberle Kenworthy led the group in the song “America the Beautiful.” Chaplain Robert E. King followed with a benediction ending the program.
If you would like to learn more about the American Legion family visit www.legion.org.
Please enjoy the picture gallery below.
Joyce Stinnett Baki / Special to the Calvert Beacon
Editor’s note: This is the first time the keynote speaker has been questioned by readers, asking why a political candidate was chosen. Patricia McCoy, a member of American Legion Post 206, chose the keynote speaker. You might contact her at her post home.