U.S. AIR FORCE veteran Charles Burton and his grandson, Peyton Thomas, look for the name of Burton’s brother — Sammy Burton — on the VFW Post 5669 Memorial Wall before the start of Monday’s annual Memorial Day service. Sammy Burton died of a brain hemorrhage while stationed in Germany in 1959, a few days shy of his 22nd birthday. (Independent Herald photo/Paul Roy. Click to purchase.)
U.S. AIR FORCE veteran Charles Burton and his grandson, Peyton Thomas, look for the name of Burton’s brother — Sammy Burton — on the VFW Post 5669 Memorial Wall before the start of Monday’s annual Memorial Day service. Sammy Burton died of a brain hemorrhage while stationed in Germany in 1959, a few days shy of his 22nd birthday. (Independent Herald photo/Paul Roy. Click to purchase.)

Monday morning’s Memorial Day service at the local VFW Post was typical in every respect but one.

The highest ranking soldier ever known to take the podium at a public event in Scott County, General Carl W. Stiner, U.S. Army, Retired, was the featured speaker.

Gen. Stiner, 76, was born and reared in LaFollette, and is a 1958 graduate of Tennessee Tech.

Invited and introduced by Scott County Mayor Jeff Tibbals, the four-star general delivered a brief but moving tribute to those who gave their lives for their country.

He also expressed concerns about America’s future due to faltering patriotism and current political leanings, and capped it off with this tribute to veterans from an unknown author:

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