More than 150 veterans, guests and public officials gathered Nov. 11 at 11 a.m. in La Vergne’s Veterans Memorial Park to observe Veterans Day in front of the park’s Wall of Honor. 

The master of ceremonies for the event was David McGowen, La Vergne’s director of parks, recreation and maintenance. The La Vergne High School Color Guard presented the colors.

La Vergne Police Chief Mike Walker led the Pledge of Allegiance and Saige Coble sang the national anthem.

The first guest speaker was Army Lt. Col. (ret.) Matthew Mednick, who had a broad career in the aviation and military intelligence branches. 

“We are here today to honor our heroes, their achievements, their courage and their dedication, and to say, ‘Thank You’ for their sacrifices,” Mednick said.

Another guest speaker was Army Lt. Col. (ret.) Glenn Shirley, who served in the aviation branch and is now the Professor of Military Studies for the La Vergne High School Army Junior ROTC program. 

Shirley spoke about his “kit bag,” which is not a physical bag but a collection of memories and knowledge. 

The first item in the kit was “make the most of a second chance.” Shirley said he benefitted greatly from second chances, tried to provide second chances for his troops throughout his career, and suggested that it was a good habit for all leaders.

Dewey Hunter, a member of veterans advocacy group Rolling Thunder, was the final guest speaker. He praised the nation’s current high regard and honor for veterans. 

After the speakers, the La Vergne Police Department Honor Guard presented a 21-gun salute and stood at attention as La Vergne High School Band member Jadyn Hoskins played “Taps”.

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