Veterans Day was celebrated with great fanfare Tuesday at Yorktown Village. Residents at the assisted-living home came to watch the “Old Glory” ceremony by the York Comprehensive High School Navy ROTC.
A poem, which is part of the ceremony honoring the American flag, reads in part:
“I was on a small hill on Iwo Jima. I was dirty, battle-worn and tired, but my soldiers cheered me, and I was proud. I have been soiled, burned, torn and trampled on the streets of countries I have helped set free. It does not hurt, for I am invincible.”
Next were the Clover High School Air Force ROTC's flag detail and a drill team. Representatives from Rock Hill American Legion Post No. 34 gave certificates and flag pins to eight residents who served in the military.
I got the chance to talk to one of the veterans, Ronald James “Chris” Christy. He is 63 and grew up in Paris Mountain, S.C., helping his family farm and raise hogs.
“As soon as I was 18, I joined the Navy,” Christy said. “I stayed on for six years. I was a machinist's mate on submarine tenders out of Key West.”
Being stationed in Florida was a dream come true.
“You couldn't beat the weather,” he said. “And I got to do a lot of fishing.”
But there was a serious side. In the 1960s, a wave of refugees fled Cuba, heading for south Florida.
“We rescued hundreds of Cubans,” Christy said. “They were coming to the U.S. on anything that could float.”
The Navy sent Christy all over the world, including Hawaii and Vietnam. He spent time on the USS Bushnell and a variety of submarines.
Christy said he really appreciated the Veterans Day program Tuesday. “I used to go to all the parades – women love a man in uniform,” he said, with a smile. “But now I just enjoy seeing the kids, seeing them excited about the military and our country.”
To read the entire “Old Glory” ceremony, go to www .americanfamilytraditions.com/ old_glory.htm