Drew County paid tribute to the nation’s veterans Monday with words of gratitude from local officials and the raising of the American flag. The ceremony took place on the lawn of the Drew County courthouse near the county’s Walls of War memorial.

“Words cannot express the thanks and gratitude (we have) for the (sacrifice) that each one of you have made for this country,” County Judge Damon Lampkin said looking out at the veterans seated in the audience.

In her comments, State Rep. Sheilla Lampkin told the veterans about the Honor Flight program which transports veterans to the nation’s capitol where they can see the memorials of the war they fought in. WWII Veteran P.Q. Gardner and his grandson Chad Gardner took the honor flight to see the memorials last month.

Monticello businessman Mike Akin, who was a candidate for District 26 State Senate, also spoke at the ceremony.

“I hope we never forget the names that are on the wall behind me – the ones that have gone on before us, the ones that paid the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty, in battle and in war,” Akin said. “And, I also want us to remember the ones today that are in harm’s way in various parts of the world protecting and defending our country and the freedoms that we enjoy.”

Drew County Judge Damon Lampkin shakes the hand of World War II Veteran Curt Gober