By Wilson A. Rivera, Fort Gordon Public AffairsNovember 16, 2012
FORT GORDON, Ga (Nov. 16, 2012) - Fort Gordon service members spent Veterans Day honoring those who've worn the nation's uniform in activities held Nov. 12 across the Central Savannah River Area.
Service members visited veterans at the Georgia War Veterans Home, where many of the residents gathered outside in the courtyard to hear guest speaker Maj. Gen. LaWarren V. Patterson, commanding general, U.S. Army Signal Center of Excellence and Fort Gordon.
"By these ceremonies, we help keep our sacrifices from being forgotten, despite the passage of time," Patterson said.
Patterson recounted the history of the American Soldier since 1776. He said veterans of World War II and Korea were known as the "Greatest Generation" because they were sent by their nation to end the spread of tyranny by fighting on the battlefields of Europe and Asia to destroy tyrants and preserve liberty for our allies and ourselves, he said.
During the conflicts in Korea and Vietnam, American Soldiers again spilled their blood and died to end the threat of communism and to preserve freedom. Later, as a new century dawned, the American Soldier was sent again to defeat an enemy that has struck the people's homeland.
"It changed our nation forever," Patterson said. "Our sons and daughters are on their way home from Afghanistan, and someday soon this global war on terrorism will end. But, as history has taught us, this will not be the last time the noble American Soldier will fight and die for this country."
Patterson was also the grand marshal for the annual Veterans Day Parade on Broad Street in Augusta. He and Command Sgt. Maj. Ronald. S. Pflieger, U.S. Army Signal Center of Excellence and Fort Gordon regimental command sergeant major, greeted people along the sides of the streets and shook hands with other veterans.
"The uniform has changed many times in the past 237 years," he said. "What has not changed is the determination and strength of the men and women who serve this nation. Every one of our Soldiers, veterans, families, deserves to be applauded for strength, devotion, and service to this nation."
"A Soldier is a Soldier for life. It takes a profound strength to wear this nations uniform," he said. "One day they remove the uniform; no amount of time, nor strife, can sever the golden thread uniting these veterans, to everyone, or those who will wear it in the future."
The parade concluded with the start of the All Wars Monument ceremony. Later, the U.S. Army Signal Corps Band took part in a musical ceremony at Heroes' Overlook on 10th Street at the Riverwalk in downtown.