Dozens paid tribute to the men and women who served in the U.S. military during a ceremony at Richmond County Veterans Park in Rockingham.
Paul V. Lehto Jr., Lt. Col., U.S. Army retired was the guest speaker. He is presently working as a civilian with the U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Army Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg.
“As we honor their memory today, let us pledge that their lives, their sacrifices, their valor shall be justified and remembered for as long as God gives life to this nation,” Lehto said. “And let us also pledge to do our utmost to carry out what must have been their wish: That no other generation of young men will ever have to share their experiences and repeat their sacrifice.”
Today’s youth were represented by Andrew Loving, the winner of an AMVET essay contest and Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts of Troop/Pack 49.
When Lehto retired in 2006, he had been a G-3 Plans officer with SOC at Fort Bragg for two years. Prior to that, Lehto was deployed with the 418th Civil Affairs Battalion in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom with the 4th Infantry Division. He was serving as the operations/intelligence officer for the battalion from 2001 to 2004.
“The United States is the world’s greatest power,” Lehto said. “We also are the world’s greatest instrument of peace and humanitarian assistance. Our history is one of service, pride and heroism.”