Bradley County veterans applauded at Cleveland High School

Bradley County veterans applauded at Cleveland High School

November 12th, 2011 by Randall Higgins in News

Cleveland High School Students unfurl a large American flag during the Cleveland High School Veteran's Day celebration on Friday.

Photo by Alex Washburn /Times Free Press.

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.