The bleachers were overflowing with spectators when the Wall That Heals Honors Ceremony began on Saturday with prayer and the National Anthem sung by Rachael Wendell. Leon Combs of Bradleyville gave an introductory welcome to the crowd as he introduced Dr. Jerry Davis, president of College of the Ozarks. Combs recognized Davis and C of O for taking a strong patriotic stance, holding firm to moral beliefs, and paying tribute to veterans. Dr. Davis, in his presentation, not only touched upon the College’s policy to uphold patriotic principles, but also shared his memories of his younger brother Dan who fought in military combat in Vietnam. Davis read excerpts from a 51-year-old letter his brother wrote to him during the war, that stated, “one thing on my mind is living another five months.” In the keynote address, Governor Mike Parson recognized the Douglas County Veterans Memorial Association and the community for their efforts in bringing the wall to Missouri. Parson acknowledged the importance and strength of small towns, and how important they are to the economic stability and foundation of the State of Missouri. He also paid tribute to all veterans for their sacrifice and service. Additional photos and information showcasing the Honors Ceremony event may be found on section A, page 7.
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