Former Sheriff and Army National Guard Veteran B.J. Honeycutt Keynote Speaker At Today's Veterans Program
Darren Doyle, story and photo
As students led today's Veterans Day Ceremony with worthy speeches, prayers, and songs of their own, former Edmonson County Sheriff B.J. Honeycutt, an Army National Guard Veteran delivered the keynote address at the annual event attended by dozens of veterans, their families, county officials, students, and school board employees.
Honeycutt had no prepared speech, but addressed the crowd in a very down-to-earth manner. As students focused their speeches on respect and honor, Honeycutt followed suit while reiterating the idea that "freedom isn't free."
"We've got a lot of freedom out here," Honeycutt said. "We got the freedom to do just about anything we want to unless it's governed by law. We can wear the clothes we want, we can go to church, the kind of car we drive...everything we want to do, we have freedom to do it. Sometimes we take that freedom for granted. We think that's free, but it's not free...it was paid for by somebody."
Honeycutt noted that during WWII, over 9% of the total population had joined the military, but today, those numbers are less than 1%.
"We still should be thankful for that. The fact that someone is out there standing guard so we can meet here today. I know I'm thankful, but lots of times I take it for granted," he said.
Honeycutt, who served in Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm, spoke about some of the horrors of war and the effects of such.
"I'm not trying to scare you, but I want you to realize what these veterans have done, and what has to be done to provide these freedoms for us all," he said.
Honeycutt read a poem by an author that wasn't announced, that spoke of the freedoms we have today, each one being made possible by a veteran, including the freedom to burn an American flag if one so chooses.
"That's one of the freedoms people have today. They have the right to burn that flag if they want to, but I guarantee you if you try to burn a flag in front of me or some of my buddies here today, we're going to open up on you like a jar of molasses," he said as several in the crowd nodded in agreement.
As Honeycutt concluded, he thanked the crowd for their attention.
"Thank you," he said. "God bless you. God bless the United States, and God bless our veterans," as the crowd stood to their feet in applause.