FREDERICKSBURG, Texas - A gray sky hung over Fredericksburg Monday, but that didn’t dampen the patriotic spirit of this Veterans Day ceremony in the courtyard at the National Museum of the Pacific War. Along with songs from a choir, a memorial wreath was presented, as well as a traditional rifle salute.
But political shots were also fired by Governor Greg Abbott. “I personally find it shocking that as we celebrate Veterans Day today there are some voices in our own country that are advancing socialism over the individual freedom that has been secured by the blood of our veterans. People too easily forget the evils of socialism, communism, and totalitarianism that America has fought against,” said the Governor.
Abhi Rahman, a spokesperson for the state Democratic Party, called the governor’s comments, ridiculous. Rahman went on to say Gov. Abbott was using Partisan talking points at a time when the unemployment rate for Texas veterans is at an all-time high.
No political punches were thrown by State Senator Dawn Buckingham (R) Lakeway who was also at the ceremony. She did urge fellow lawmakers to be more in tune with the needs of veterans “I think we can always be better we can always play the good fight there’s no place it’s too big when it comes to our veterans or active military. We are fully engaged and trying to make advances for them,” said Buckingham.
None more deserving than several men who met with Governor Abbott during the last part of the ceremony. They are WWII veterans from what’s known as the greatest generation. One of those veterans was Charles Wiley who said he’s thankful to be recognized and to be honored.
He also said these types of ceremonies are not just about looking back but looking forward.
“I feel more like I’m part of the people that are honoring these guys then one of the people who should be honored,” said Wiley.
Make no mistake the 93-year-old Wiley deserves to be honored. He was a Seaman 1st Class and fought in the Pacific.
Wiley told FOX 7 he and his fellow veterans accomplish what they did because something they were given. “And the truth of the matter is is the reason we had those core values was because of our mothers and fathers, the generation before us, that’s through hell and high water, they're the ones that suffered during depression, and yet even though they did they still concentrating on teaching us the stuff that counted,” said Wiley.
He offered a simple message for the next generation. “They can become the greatest generation, young people today can become the greatest generation, The real greatest generation, like my parents. The people that raised us, go out there do your job get married have kids raise the kids the way they should be raised and you will become the next greatest generation,” said Wiley.