By Ashley Rader
Students at Elizabethton High School were among the many across the city and Carter County who paused Monday to reflect on Veterans Day and the men and women who stepped forward and served their country.
EHS was home to this year’s Elizabethton/Carter United Veterans’ Council ceremony; each year, the council holds a Veterans Day ceremony at one of the county’s five high schools on a rotating schedule.
“Veterans Day is more than a day off from work,” said Veteran Service Officer and Vietnam veteran Sonnie Mottern. “It is a day to remember the duty and sacrifice of the men and women that gave more of themselves than the average citizen. We have more freedoms than every other country because of the veterans. We can still boast that we are a free nation. We would not have these freedoms without the sacrifice of veterans.”
Mottern said it was also important to remember the veterans’ families on Veterans Day.
“For every veteran there is also a family that gave and made sacrifices,” he said. “It not only the veterans but their families that should be told ‘thank you’. We should do all we can to thank the veterans and their families.”
Mottern said for civilians that importance of hearing ‘thank you’ doesn’t hold the same significance as it does for a veteran.
“Unless you are a veteran you can’t know home much a simple ‘thank you’ means,” he said. “I know I have teared up after someone has told me ‘thank you’ for serving the country.”