BY LEANN DILBECK –
The Mena Emblem Club #470 presented the annual Veterans’ Day Service today at 11 a.m. adjacent to the Polk County War Memorial. Approximately 75 attended the very moving ceremony on the crisp fall morning.
Polk County Veterans Service Officer Bob Toombs was the keynote speaker who reminded those in attendance of the history behind the holiday. At the conclusion of his speech, he also stated that national statistics show the loss of one veteran a day at their own hands and spoke of the escalating suicide rate in today’s returning Veterans. He encouraged those that knew Veterans who may struggle to seek counseling, or to seek the many services his office is able to provide. Toombs said the suicide rate among returning Veterans was higher than active duty personnel in the Middle East.
The following wreaths were presented during today’s ceremony: World War I and II, Korean War and POW/MIA, Vietnam War, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, War on Terror, Veterans of Foreign Wars and its Auxiliary, The American Legion and its Auxiliary, Disabled American Veterans and its Auxiliary, Fleet Reserve Association, Fraternal Order of Eagles, Aerie #4259, Mena City Hall, Mena VA Outpatient Clinic, Polk County Judge’s Office, Polk County Democratic Committee, Polk County Republican Committee, Mena Regional Health Center, Mena Regional Rehabilitation Center, First National Bank of Mena, Union Bank of Mena, Don’s EZ Pay, Edward Jones Investments, Rotary Club of Polk County, ABATE, Mena Elk’s Lodge #781, and Mena Emblem Club #470.
The Mena Emblem Club thanked all who contributed to today’s ceremony in any way but most of all to the veterans, “without you, there would be no need for this day of remembrance, nor would we have the freedom to do so.”