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Veterans, God and prayer honored at Ashe County Courthouse

The Ashe County High School JROTC, from left, present the colors as Generation Excellent homeschoolers, on courthouse steps, along with other National Day of Prayer participants stand for the pledge of allegiance and singing of the national anthem.

Originally published: May. 2, 2013
Last modified: May. 2, 2013

Heather Samudio

Lifting the nation in prayer and being thankful for veterans were the themes of the day at the Ashe County Courthouse.

Students, community leaders, religious leaders and veterans gathered with area residents to celebrate the National Day of Prayer in Jefferson on the steps of the courthouse.

Before the event began, Marine Corp League Commandant Buddy Greer said he was there again this year to honor the veterans from each branch of the military.

“They are the reason you are here,” he said.

Festivities began with a performance by members of the Ashe County High School band, directed by Carrie Mitchell.

The music was followed by the Rev. David Blackburn, director of missions with the Ashe Baptist Association, who welcomed everyone to the event and thanked the crowd for attending.

Area home school group, Generation Excellent, directed by Pam Miller, performed two songs, honoring area veterans with their first performance and following with an inspirational number in honor of prayer, touting “walk by faith and not by sight.”

The ACHS JROTC presented the colors for the pledge of allegiance which was led by SSG Jeffery Houck of the 1450th Transportation National Guard. The JROTC also remained in place as Tanya Hudler, member of Warrensville Baptist Church, sang the national anthem.

Offering a celebration of America’s history through prayer was the Rev. Elliott Osowitt, pastor of Faith Fellowship.

Osowitt said the only way to move forward and make things better is through prayer and action, “but prayer comes first.

“We’re talking about real prayer here,” he added. “God is moved by a fresh wind and fresh prayer. … He wants fervent and spirit-filled prayer. God is calling America to repent, to humble ourselves and pray and to turn from our wicked ways.

“God’s righteous wrath is the result of willful disobedience,” Osowitt continued. “The church is not the salt and light of the world as we have been called to do.”


Osowitt talked about James Harlan introducing a resolution on March 2, 1863, in the midst of a terrible war, asking Abraham Lincoln to call for a National Day of Prayer. He quoted Lincoln’s announcement and cited the need for a day of prayer.

Greer then called for each member of the military to come forward as their branch of service was named.

 “We ask for blessings upon our soldiers,” Bill Carter, commander of VFW Post 7946, said in his prayer for those serving in active duty. “Keep them safe from harm and bless them in a special way.”

Ashe County Commissioner William Sands expressed appreciation for being part of the ceremony and read the official presidential proclamation.

In a prayer to honor God, the Rev. Paul Woodall, pastor of Lansing Presbyterian, said, “today is a day of recommitment. We come to honor you.”

The ceremony concluded with the placing of the wreath, signifying, “Freedom is not free.”

Ralph Poe, commander of the Disabled American Veterans and Roy Billings, commander of the American Legion, placed the wreath in honor of veterans who have served to protect everyone’s freedom.

As Poe, Billings and all other service members came to attention, the JROTC offered a Three Volley Salute and a member of the ACHS band played Taps to close out the event.

For more information and stories, see Ashe Mountain Times.