By Michele Dotson
The annual Veterans Day breakfast, sponsored by the town of Mint Hill and the Mint Hill Chamber of Commerce was held on November 9th at 8 am at the Kerr Building at Philadelphia Presbyterian Church on Bain School Road.
The capacity crowd enjoyed breakfast at 8:00 am, followed by a patriotic program facilitated by Mayor Ted Biggers.
Breakfast was prepared by a volunteer crew led by Mayor Biggers’ wife, Elizabeth, who has spearheaded the efforts for 13 years with a dedicated crew that comes together yearly to organize and cook.
Members of Boy Scout Troop 65, as well as Mint Hill Town Hall staff served the veterans, refilled coffee, and cleaned up after the event.
The program included remarks from Mint Hill Chamber of Commerce treasurer Boyd Davis, a multi-media presentation honoring generations of veterans, and an armed forces medley honoring all branches and those who served.
93 year old US Marine and Pearl Harbor survivor Henry Craswell was announced as the oldest veteran at the breakfast. Additionally, women veterans were honored, as well as those who chose the military as their career.
A portion of the program was reserved to honor those veterans who are no longer with us.
John Ellis brought an American flag for display in honor of Lt. Leroy M. Duffy who died in April, 2012. The US flag, sporting only 48 stars, flew in Korea from September 1950-April, 1951.
A visibly moved Mayor Biggers read a letter from Mint Hill resident Martha Helms, who responded to the invitation that her husband, Veteran Ray Helms, who enjoyed the breakfast every year, had passed away in February.
In response, the mayor read a list of all Mint Hill veterans who have died this year, with a special tribute to long-time Mint Hill resident Dwight Moody, who was a regular at the annual breakfast.
“In honor of all veterans that have passed,” says Biggers. “I wish you were here to play “Cotton Eyed Joe” for us today.”
Before Taps played to end the program, Mayor Biggers thanked everyone for their service.
“Your country needed you. You served. I thank you all for coming today and I hope to see everyone here next year.”