CLEVELAND, Tenn. -- When the Bradley County veterans came into Cleveland High School's gymnasium Friday to take their seats, the entire student body stood and applauded.
Later, the veterans and members of the student government stood side by side around a giant American flag.
The service was one of many such community events marking Veterans Day.
John Hunter, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel and a high school faculty member, reminded students that average people can do amazing things.
"All of us are called, in some way or another, to help protect, preserve the society we now have for future generations,'' Hunter told the students.
Bradley County's remaining Pearl Harbor survivor, George Allen, is the county's veteran of the year and was honored during Veterans Day ceremonies at the county courthouse.
Mayor Tom Rowland announced at the start of the courthouse ceremony that local businessman Allan Jones was, at that moment, completing the purchase of a 1919 French painting of Sgt. Alvin C. York, a Tennessee native and World War I hero.
The portrait owner in Florida had required that York's portrait should be brought back to his native state.
"He [York] would be proud that his painting is now home in Tennessee," Rowland said.
A new marker was added to the courthouse lawn Friday as well.
The Aldersgate Garden Club sponsored the placing of a Blue Star Memorial to honor veterans. It now stands among other monuments to local veterans from World War I through Operation Desert Storm.
Randall Higgins covers news in Cleveland, Tenn., for the Times Free Press. He started work with the Chattanooga Times in 1977 and joined the staff of the Chattanooga Times Free Press when the Free Press and Times merged in 1999. Randall has covered Southeast Tennessee, Northwest Georgia and Alabama. He now covers Cleveland and Bradley County and the neighboring region. Randall is a Cleveland native. He has bachelor’s degree from Tennessee Technological University. His awards ...