'There is nothing as important as your freedom'

United States Air Force veterans David Spann and John Kindt stand while John Edney welcomes guests to the 2017 Veterans DAy program at the U.S. Veterans Monument in Harris Street Park.

Don’t be distracted by the special sales and commercial trappings that have sprung up around Veterans Day, John Edney says.

“That’s not what we fought for,” said the president of the Kilgore War Veterans Association. “We fought for the freedom of individuals in America.

Across the world, “Veterans are still dying for our freedom. It’s just terrible. We need to keep Veterans Day and Memorial Day going – for our young people.”

Fortunately, he added, Kilgore is a community where youths and adults do take the time to recognize and honor the men and women who give their time, blood, sweat, tears and lives to serve their country.

In particular, on Friday, Kilgore Intermediate School will host a come-and-go Veterans Day breakfast from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. in the KIS Library before the annual Veterans Day program at 9 a.m. at Kilgore Middle School.

“The schools are getting into the programs and trying to teach our young people that being a veteran is something to be proud of.”

Come the holiday itself, on Monday, the war veterans association’s annual celebration begins at 9 a.m. (weather permitting) Nov. 11 at the U.S. Veterans Monument at Harris Street Park.

“This year we honor and say ‘thank you’ to our living veterans for their continued fight for freedom,” Edney said, “and to those that have serve, what a great debt we owe them, for without our veterans where would America be?”

Entertainment at the monument this year will feature a Kilgore High School choir and a keynote from Kilgore City Council member and veteran, Victor Boyd.

“On Memorial Day, we remember our veterans that have passed on, that have given it all,” Edney emphasized. “Veterans Day is for our live veterans. We want to thank them for their service – for the ones that have served and for the ones that are still serving.

“There’s a lot going on in Kilgore to pay homage to the veterans. Veterans Day is special in Kilgore. Veterans, you should be proud of your service and for the freedoms you have given to our people, especially to the people of Kilgore.”

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