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Area veterans, seniors honored with picnic

By Sonny Long
May 27, 2011 at 12:27 a.m.

Eunice Boyd expresses her gratitude to the Victoria Senior Citizens Center for caring for veterans and the elderly during the annual Memorial Day picnic Friday.

Assisting the Victoria Senior Citizens Center with the annual Memorial Day picnic were Crossroads Home Health,

Crown Hospice,

Warm Springs Hospital and the Food Bank of the Golden Crescent. Senior center staff members and volunteers also worked the event.

Henry Alex is pleased that the Victoria Senior Citizens Center hosts an annual Memorial Day picnic.

"It's great to remind everyone," said Alex, who served in the 7th Infantry Division during the Korean War.

"Especially about the fallen ones," Alex added, fighting back tears.

About 100 senior citizens, some veterans and some members of veterans' families, took part in the event that has been held for at least 25 years.

The crowd was treated to a picnic, including hot dogs, watermelon, ice cream and cake.

The tables under the Lions Club Park pavilion were adorned in red, white and blue and miniature American flags.

Prior to lunch, the group played bingo. Natalie Gilbert, 93, won the last prize of the day, earrings.

"I like getting out of the house and being with my friends and being for Memorial Day makes it even more special and patriotic," Gilbert said. "It's exciting."

In addition to patrons of both of the Victoria senior citizens centers and others 60 and older, some residents of the Mission Nursing and Rehab Center in Cuero also attended.

Debra Garner, director of the Victoria Senior Citizens Center, read a letter from U.S. Sen. John Cornyn recognizing the significance of gathering for Memorial Day.

"The reason we have the picnic is to honor our fallen heroes who have kept our country free," Garner said. "We also honor the vets that are here, the living vets. We are appreciative they came home and are still with us."

Solomon Hill, an 89-year-old Army veteran, was an aircraft mechanic during World War II.

"This is good," he said. "It makes feel me good to be recognized."

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