Pine Bluff’s Trinity Village Retirement Center recognized its veterans and their families in the facility’s annual Veterans Day program on Monday afternoon.
Attending the event were about 50 people, including veterans of the World War II, Korean Conflict and Vietnam War eras. Deceased veterans were remembered and their widows, children and other relatives were saluted. Ninety-seven year-old Jack Curry, a Trinity Village resident, gained special recognition as a veteran of both World War II and the Korean Conflict.
James L. Stone — Pine Bluff ‘s lone national Medal of Honor winner — died earlier this year. His award cited his bravery in Korea.
Trinity Village Activities Director Jane McMullin presided over Monday’s event.
Robert Rhinehart and Trinity Village resident Ken Theis related their experiences as Honor Flight participants. Rhinehart and Theis were among approximately 80 World War II vets who made a day trip earlier this year to Washington, D.C., where the were greeted by well-wishers, including the airport fire department.
While in Washington, they were transported to the World War II National Memorial and other sites.
When they returned to Little Rock that night, they were met by a welcoming line. Theis became emotional when describing the scene, saying the group’s greeters were reaching out to and applauding the vets, thanking them for their service.
“We felt appreciated,” Rhinehart said, adding that the veterans even received free parking at the Bill and Hillary Clinton Airport in Little Rock. Rhinehart said he hopes many more World War II veterans will take part in the Honor Flight Program, noting that about 5,000 World War II veterans die each day.
Betty Bradshaw gave a “Seat at the Table” presentation. Bradshaw was the grandmother*** of Army Sgt. Michael Strachota, who died June 24, 2012, while serving in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.
Singer Nina Hunt performed “The Star Spangled Banner” and “God Bless America.” University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff music professor Richard Bailey played “Taps” on a bugle after Jackie Gregory recited lyrics of the song, which dates back to the Civil War.
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***This article has been corrected from its original vesion. Click here for the correction notice.