More than 60 people showed up on the courthouse square last Thursday to remember veterans and honor their service on Veterans’ Day.
The annual ceremony at the veterans’ memorial was sponsored by the Oliver Windell Buzan American Legion Post 462. It's named for the first Somervell County resident killed in World War I. Buzan was the brother of downtown business owner Brenda Ransom's paternal grandfather.
Post members laid a wreath at the veteran's memorial. Lee Ferguson, a veteran who lives east of Belton, also brought his veteran's exhibit, including a poem called "A Soldier Died Today," and flags including those dedicated to prisoners of war and missing in action.
Deedee Jones, president of the American Legion Auxiliary, presented a patriotic message about the “Blue Star Flag,” a banner designed and patented by a World War I U.S. Army captain whose two sons served on the front line. It became the unofficial symbol of families who had a child in the military service. The blue star is covered by a gold one if a family loses a son or daughter in the service.
During World War II mothers made the flags by hand. The Blue Star Mothers of America was chartered in 1960 as a veterans service organization.
The U.S. Department of Defense later specified how the flag was to be designed, manufactured and displayed. Families can display the flag in a window of their home if any member is serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.
Jones noted she and her husband, American Legion member Hank Jones, have a son, Ray, who is about to enter another tour of duty in the Middle East in March.
“I’ve had to fly this flag three times over the last eight years,” Deedee Jones said. “I’ll pray that my star is always going to stay blue.”
After the ceremony, volunteers placed flags at area cemeteries where veterans are buried — Odom, Nancy Smith, Ward Branch, Lanham Mills, Post Oak, Glen Rose, White Church, Rock Creek, George's Creek and Herndon Valley.