Pinehurst Rotarians Recognize Vets
The Pinehurst Rotary Club held its weekly luncheon meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 17, at the historic Pine Crest Inn.
President Gary Williford opened the meeting and Sergeant-at-Arms Dr. Ed Carey led the Rotarians in song singing "My Country 'Tis of Thee."
Various reports were given by members on projects and then President Williford recognized past District Governor Tony Baker, who had several World War II veterans as special guests.
Baker recognized John Mims, retired Army veteran, Edwin Cottrell, retired USAF, William Hipple, retired USAF, James Rochell Small, retired Army veteran, and Edwin Persons, 101st Airborne (Army), who could not attend the meeting.
All five veterans attended the recently held "Flight of Honor" in Washington, D.C., honoring veterans of foreign wars. Pinehurst Rotary, along with Sandhills Rotary and Southern Pines Rotary, sponsored these veterans on their trip.
They were escorted by Tony Baker, who is also a veteran. Each veteran stood and told the club what the trip meant to them as well as relating significant events and impressions of the trip.
Baker explained the role of each veteran in the war: John Mims was a POW and survivor of the Bataan Death March; Ed Cottrell flew over 60 missions in Europe as a fighter pilot; Bill Hipple was a member of the 451st Heavy Bomber Group in Europe; James Rochelle Small served with the Army in Europe; and Ed Persons had numerous combat jumps in Europe with the 101st Airborne Division.
Baker said that we owe these veterans gratitude for their service and sacrifice and because of them we enjoy our freedom in America today.
The Pinehurst Rotarians gave their guests a standing ovation.
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