Veterans honored Sunday
By Tyler Hargett for the FCT
Three different events were held as one big celebration in honor of Veterans’ Day in Russellville Sunday. The American Legion Veterans’ Day Parade returned to Russellville, along with an honorary reception at the A.W. Todd Center and a showing of the film “Unbroken” at the Roxy Theater.
Beginning at 2 p.m., the parade allowed veterans to ride in antique cars and Army vehicles while tossing candy to viewers on the sidelines. With a marching band, fire trucks and motorcycles, the event was a sight to see in downtown.
After the parade, a reception was held at 2:30 p.m. to serve refreshments as well as announce the Franklin County Firefighter and Police Officer of the Year. The reception began with an opening prayer led by veteran Milford Brown, followed by members of the JROTC presenting the flag ceremony. Kim Stanley Clonts performed the national anthem, and food and drinks were served by the Franklin County Junior Leaders.
Reception Director Bill Jackson awarded Russellville Fire Capt. Neil Willis the Franklin County Firefighter of the Year Award. Willis expressed his gratitude for the veterans gathered there in serving this country.
“I am honored to be here and to receive this award,” said Willis. “Being involved with the parade and getting to honor the veterans is special to me and the fire department.”
Retired Russellville Police Capt. Wyman Pounders, who passed away in June, was awarded Franklin County Police Officer of the Year. His wife, Roxann Pounders, emotionally accepted the award on his behalf.
“I am so proud of him,” said Pounders. “He was a loyal police officer who always wanted to try to help people. He would be honored.”
At 3:30 p.m., the Roxy screened the film Unbroken, with admission being free to veterans. The event was put together by the Russellville High School’s American History Honors Club. A special weapons exhibit was on display in the lobby, put together by JROTC sponsor Lt. Col. Norman Lier.
“I’m very pleased with the turnout,” said club sponsor Kim Burney. “The community has been very supportive. The children have had an opportunity to meet a lot of our veterans and personally thank them.”