Speech/Welcome at Salute! Veterans Day Parade

11/10/2012 Salute! Veterans Day Parade

Good morning and welcome to downtown Kinston.  Happy birthday United States Marine Corps.

I’d like to recognize Mayor Pro Tem Joseph Tyson, who was helping the ROTC today.  We also have County Commissioners Reuben Davis and Eric Rouse with us.

On behalf of our community, I’d like to say thank you to our Salute! committee. On behalf of the citizens of this great nation, I’d like to thank all of our veterans here today and those who could not be with us.

I am a veteran’s son, but not a veteran myself. It’s because of my father and the men and women here today that I got a choice: 1) get a job, 2) join the service, or 3) go to school.

I chose school and now serve my community through elected office.

Make no mistake, your sacrifices allow this country to defend our Constitution, to ensure we maintain the freedom of speech, press and religion, and the right to bear arms.

We have some World War II veterans with us today.  One of them, my friend Guy Skinner, recently told me this:

Watch your thoughts. Watch your thoughts, they become your words. Watch your words, they become your actions. Watch your actions, they become your habits. Watch your habits, they become your character. Watch your character because it will become your destiny.

His remarks after 94 years have made an impression on me. To all of our veterans – thank you.

Our community loves you.  This community embraces you.

And to those who didn’t receive this – Welcome Home.