Thank you Veterans: Community reflects on selfless service and sacrifice

ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - Veterans Day may officially be Sunday, but the Exchange Club of Alexandria wants the community to think of that service everyday.

They held a special ceremony at city hall on Veterans Memorial Plaza.

The purpose was to provide citizens an opportunity to reflect and show respect for veterans of all military branches.

Pineville High School students played a rendition of taps as veterans put a wreath in front of the memorial.

Command Sergeant Major James Mitchell of the 46th Engineer Battalion at Fort Polk was the guest speaker. He told audience members that in 2016 seven percent of U.S. Adults were veterans, down from 18 percent in 1980. He said the numbers continue to dwindle. It's a position of continuous sacrifice, so he encouraged everyone to stop and say 'thank you' to any veteran who crosses their path.

"Memorial is to honor all those who have fallen, Veterans Day is for us to honor those still with us," said CSM James Mitchell. "The statistics show we are losing so many everyday. So, it is very important to seek those out who wear some kind of military identifying insignia and just walk up to them and say 'thank you'. I do it all the time."

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