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With song and speech, veterans are recognized in Lodi

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Posted: Thursday, November 12, 2009 12:00 am

When third- and fourth-grade students from the Lodi Seventh-Day Adventist School started to sing the National Anthem, everyone stood up or stopped in the aisles to stand at attention saluting the flag.

The group of all ages crowded into the American Legion Post 22 in Lodi to honor veterans Wednesday morning. Many in the crowd wore military attire, Legion hats and T-shirts decorated with the American flag or military mottos.

The ceremony included the 191st Army Band with two drummers and three bagpipers, the Lodi Community Band, Mayor Larry Hansen, Assemblywoman Alyson Huber and the keynote speaker, Brigadier General Jack Hagen, III of the California State Military Reserve.

Uniforms from different eras were displayed, and newspaper clippings proclaiming American war milestones hung from the walls.

Hansen, who was in the U.S. Navy, said he was really overwhelmed at the turnout and said it was a great reflection of our community. He was especially touched that the children's choir and Girl Scouts participated in the ceremony.

"It warms your heart when they have that type of enthusiasm when saying the Pledge of Allegiance," Hansen said.

Pastor Dale Edwards gave an invocation at the beginning during which he mentioned the attack on Fort Hood and said it is important to remember Lockeford resident Kyle Coumas, who was killed Oct. 21 when his vehicle was attacked by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan. Edwards said he "never more proud of this community" than when many people waved American flags during Coumas' funeral procession on Nov. 3.

He also told the story of the prophet Isaiah who heard the Lord say "whom shall I send?"

"Those service men and women who have given their lives said we will go," Edwards said.

He prayed for everyone who has served.

"Men and women fought for liberty and gave us our freedom," he said.

Hansen said the Lodi City Council has faced some real challenges to protect freedoms when it had to decide on whether to keep prayers before council meetings. The council re-evaluated its policy after a national organization threatened to sue the city over its invocations.

"I'm proud we took a stand and said 'no,' our country is founded on that freedom of religion and to pray with no censorship," Hansen said and the crowd responded with applause.

With tears in his eyes, veteran Bill Selling, who served for 33 years, said he always participates in Veteran Day ceremonies.

"We need to recognize these people because they are why we have freedom today," he said.

Contact reporter Maggie Creamer at maggiec@lodinews.com or read her blog at www.lodinews.com/blogs/citybuzz.

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  • posted at 12:51 am on Fri, Nov 13, 2009.


    “The life of Christ is his life, for he is one with Christ. It would be as impossible for him to fight as it would be for Christ to have seized a sword and fought in self-defense when the Roman soldiers came for Him. And two Christians can no more fight against each other than Christ can fight against Himself.” Glad Tidings E J Waggoner

  • posted at 12:50 am on Fri, Nov 13, 2009.


    "The Christian thinks of any other man—English, German, French, Russian, Turk, Chinese, or African—simply as a man and therefore a possible heir of God through Christ. If that other man, no matter what his race or nation, be also a Christian, then the bond becomes mutual and therefore still stronger. “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.It is for this reason that it is impossible for a Christian to engage in war. He knows no distinction of nationality, but regards all men as his brothers. The life of Christ is his life, for he is one with Christ. It would be as impossible for him to fight as it would be for Christ to have seized a sword and fought in self-defense when the Roman soldiers came for Him. And two Christians can no more fight against each other than Christ can fight against Himself.”

  • posted at 12:50 am on Fri, Nov 13, 2009.


    From the beginning, the Seventh-day Adventist denomination announced its stand as follows: “We, the undersigned, hereby associate ourselves together as a church, taking the name of Seventh-day Adventists, covenanting to keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.”J. Loughborough: The Great Second Advent Movement, p. 352.The same position was confirmed by the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the United States during the American Civil War. They declared in 1864: “The denomination of Christians calling themselves Seventh-day Adventists, taking the Bible as their rule of faith and practice, are unanimous in their views that its teachings are contrary to the spirit and practice of war; hence, they have ever been conscientiously opposed to bearing arms. If there is any portion of the Bible which we, as a people, can point to more than any other as our creed, it is the law of the ten commandments, which we regard as the supreme law, and each precept of which we take in its most obvious and literal import.

  • posted at 12:48 am on Fri, Nov 13, 2009.


    The only hero we should be honouring is Jesus...As we honor our fallen heroes,Who offered up their lifeOn a battle field so dreary,In the fierce battles strife,Do we think of the great CommanderWho died in battle too,In the great war 'twixt error and truth,Dying for me and you?He was Commander in Chief, and General,A "Captain of the Host;"He was Chaplain, and Nurse, and Sentinel,Who never slept at His post;He was Quatermaster and Surgeon,Held the Banner of Love and Faith,Tho' He came as a lowly PrivateAnd loved not His life to the death.Altho' He came as man's substitute,He was a willing vounteer!Willingly died for one and allOn the cross so gloomy and drear.Oh! what can we give this Hero,Who died for one and all?Only the flowers of service to Him,Who came at humanity's call.Nellie M Albers.

  • posted at 6:50 pm on Thu, Nov 12, 2009.


    This is a cool to show that we appreciate our veterans. I salute them for a job well done.Regards,http://www.ezbusinessloans.com

  • posted at 10:03 am on Thu, Nov 12, 2009.


    I have a family member in that group ... they are too adorable.

  • posted at 9:24 am on Thu, Nov 12, 2009.


    The picture of Mr. Gross is PERFECT! He is the leader of the Lodi Community band. It should be stated that they are all volunteers and played as the children sang the National Anthem. A perfect way to start a wonderful small town celebration.

  • posted at 12:22 am on Thu, Nov 12, 2009.


    That should have read "nonsectarian," not "secular." My apologies.

  • posted at 12:20 am on Thu, Nov 12, 2009.


    It was a beautiful ceremony, esp. when the kids sang "God Bless the USA" by Lee Greenwood (not "God Bless America") and received a heart-felt and lengthy standing ovation. They deserved it. They sang beautifully and accurately, impressing the other musicians in the crowd. The only unfortunate moments were when the invocation ended with the phrase "in Jesus' name," thereby offending those present who, like myself, know that is inappropriate when addressing a diverse group of folks and when Mayor Larry Hansen brought up the issue surrounding secular prayers before Council meetings. To the credit of the pastor offering the benediction/closing prayer, it was lovely and devoid of any mention of a specific religious figure -- well done.



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