PRCC hosts Veterans Day Ceremony featuring a special local speaker

Published 7:00 am Saturday, November 12, 2016

Hudson Holliday spoke about his experiences during and after his service. "Freedom is not free. It's never been free and it will never be free."

Hudson Holliday spoke about his experiences during and after his service. “Freedom is not free. It’s never been free and it will never be free.”

At the Pearl River Community College Veterans Day Ceremony on Thursday, the community and students alike came together to recognize veterans in Poplarville and across the nation. During the ceremony, special guest Hudson Holliday—PRCC alumnus, veteran and Pearl River County Supervisor—spoke, addressing how important it is to recognize those who served and how they can be repaid for their service.
“Adequately, there are no words you can say to thank someone for sacrificing what every veteran has,” Holliday said. “Never forget, freedom is not free. It’s never been free and it will never be free. Resolve today that you will work to keep us free, that you will never accept defeat, never trade liberty for security and always put America first.”
Holliday retired as a 2-star General in 2004 with almost 39 years of service in the Mississippi National Guard. In 1995, he graduated from the U.S. Army War College and in 2005 he was inducted into the Fort Benning Georgia Officer Candidate School Hall of Fame. During his speech, Holliday shared a couple of stories about his experience during and after his time in the military.
“A couple of my Army buddies and I travelled around Europe, including Normandy . . . We went to the cemetery, and split up to walk around and take it all in. I started walking around the graves, looking for soldiers from Mississippi. As I found people, I started thinking that these young men probably never had their family members come visit their grave, so I decided to adopt them, and become their brother so that somebody showed up to care,” Holliday said.
Maghan James, Dean of Students at Pearl River Community College, recited words inscribed on the Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C.
“Our nation honors her sons and daughters who answered the call to defend a country they never knew and a people they never met,” she said.
These words can apply to all the war veterans and tomorrow’s veterans currently keeping peace around the world, James said.
On Veterans Day, Holliday said there is always good news and bad news. The good news is that because of the veterans and their families, because of their service and sacrifices, the U.S. is a free country, Holliday said. However, the bad news is that the country will only remain free as long as there are men and women willing to serve.
“We should all strive in our lives, to accredit those before us and serve as an inspiration for those that follow us,” Holliday said.
Before Holliday spoke at the Brownstone Center for the Arts, Raymunda Barnes, assistant vice president for the Hancock Campus, shared some patriotic words during the invocation.
“We must remember the words of that song of freedom that goes, ‘my country tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim’s pride. From every mountain side, let freedom ring,’” he said.
Dr. Adam Breerwood, vice president for the Poplarville and Hancock Campus, shared his view of what veterans gave to the nation’s people.
“Because of them, I can raise my family in a Christian-based home. I get to tell my kids that with hard work and dedication, your dreams can come true, and they are certainly attainable,” he said.
American citizens, old and young, need to work to keep America strong and free, Holliday said.
“The veterans want us to preserve and protect the freedoms they sacrificed to give us. If we don’t, their sacrifices were in vain,” he said.

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