Honoring Veterans

Published 7:00 pm Sunday, November 13, 2011

“Wars are not just being fought overthere,” Major Bryan Olier said Friday. “War is right here, too. Athome. At the supper table. In our schools.”

    That was part of the message Olier had as the guest speaker forthose gathered in Brookhaven’s Railroad Park in observance ofVeterans Day.

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    “I ask that you continue to build the ethical and moral bridge youare building,” he said. “Teach the next generation that their wordis honor, and that action creates character, and that we can alwaysstrive to be better.”

    In addition to an inspirational speech from Olier, the Ole BrookSingers from Brookhaven High School treated the crowd of warveterans, family members and the general community gathered for thecelebration to a vocal performance led by instructor JensOliva.

    At the heart of Olier’s message was to remember the wars Americanshave fought and to understand that war will always occur.Therefore, it is important to cultivate generations of principledAmericans.

    “You are building the next generation,” he said. “Our fight is tomake sure they have what we have now.”

    He referenced two boys, James Belk, 3, and Tyndale Boerner, 3, whoplayed on the grass at the foot of the podium before Olier wasintroduced.

    Seeing the innocence as they wrestled on the ground brought to hismind that that is what soldiers fight for.

    “It’s the kind of thing that gives you chill bumps,” he said.

    Olier is the Operations Officer for the 1st Battalion 155thInfantry Regiment in McComb. He has served full-time for over 23years in the United States military and most recently served inOperations Iraqi Freedom III (2004-06) and IX (2009-10).

    He went on to say how important every American is when it comes tothe military.

    “Beside every veteran is someone who supported them,” he said.

    This was the inaugural year of the program and social gathering ofveterans. Brookhaven-Lincoln County Executive Vice President CliffBrumfield deemed the chamber-sponsored event successful.

    “I think it went very well, and we had a good turnout,” Brumfieldsaid after the celebration’s conclusion. “I hope to see everyonehere and more again next year.”