PIQUA — The local community gathered at the Veterans Memorial near Forest Hill Cemetery in Piqua on Monday, where the Piqua Veterans Association hosted the 2019 Veterans Day Ceremony.
Chief Warrant Officer Paul Reece of the U.S. Army Reserves was the keynote speaker for the event. Reece, who currently resides in Piqua, has over 30 years of combined civilian and military law enforcement and security experience. He began his military career with the U.S. Air Force in 1984. He joined the U.S. Army Reserves in 1999. Soon after the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, he was called to active duty and served in Cuba for nine months. Since 2002, he has been called to active duty on eight occasions. Most of Reece’s active duty has been at Fort Belvoir, Va., attached to the Criminal Investigative Division. In April 2011, Reece received the rank of Warrant Officer.
Reece has also worked for the Miami County Sheriff’s Office, the Miami County Prosecutor’s Office, and the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, and he is currently working for the Clark County Sheriff’s Office. Reece and his wife Denise have resided in Miami County for the past 29 years. They have six children and 11 grandchildren.
Reece recognized all veterans in attendance on Monday, saying, “Please accept our sincere appreciation.” Reece also commented on how veterans earn respect and have “had to take a knee” during times of war.
“Showing respect is instantaneous and consistent. Earning respect takes time,” Reece said. “That difference is something that social media distorts, Hollywood corrupts, and sports figures warp. In certain circumstances and moments, our veterans have and had to take a knee. They took to their knees on the beaches of Normandy, in the jungles of Vietnam, in fighting positions in Korea, in trench warfare in both world wars, in the mountain ranges of Afghanistan and Iraq, and in every conflict and every continent where our veterans have shed blood. They took their knees. They took their knees in prayer.”
Reece also addressed veterans’ families and the sacrifices they make, talking about how many veterans have had to be deployed during times when video-chatting or email was not yet available.
“It is the family who sometimes bears unspeakable grief,” Reece said.
Reece addressed the veterans, saying they “answered the call to duty” and set the path “for us to follow.”
“You put the welfare of your nation before your own well-being,” Reece said. “You deserve respect and honor.”
Dennis Tennery, commander of the VFW Post 4874, was the master of ceremonies for the 2019 Veterans Day Ceremony. Chaplain John Brady of the American Legion Post 184 gave the invocation and benediction.
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