Remarks at the Garner Veterans Memorial Dedication
Lake Benson Park, Garner, NC - In the book of Joshua we learn that after the children of Israel safely crossed the Jordan River, they erected a stone memorial. The account continues: "When your children ask in time to come, 'What do these stones mean to you?' then you shall tell than that...when (the ark) crossed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off...so these stones shall be to the Israelites a memorial forever (4:5-7)."
Today we dedicate these stones, artfully places and skillfully etched, to commemorate patriots who served our county sacrificially. "What do these stones mean to you?" the children still ask and we ask one another. They bespeak a determination to learn and learn from our history. They memorialize those who gave their all for their country and for us, their heirs. They remind us of our obligation to give of ourselves, to our community and our country, to help make them all that they can be.
It is my honor to present this flag, flown over the U.S. Capitol, to grace this memorial and mark this occasion. Some of the veterans we commemorate knew an earlier version of this flag, when our county was young and growing and expanding in its conception of what "liberty and justice for all" could mean. Today this flag, like the memorial we are dedicating, both anchors us in the past and sets our eyes toward a still expanding future of freedom and opportunity. It is in that spirit that I present this flag to Mayor Williams and the town of Garner today.