POWHATAN, VA – The ideals that are such an integral part of the U.S. Armed Forces are core values and essential lessons that need to be passed on to children today.
Elizabeth A. Dombroski with the American Heritage Girls spoke on the importance or recognizing the military and passing on those lessons when she was the speaker at the 12th annual Huguenot Springs Veterans Day Service. The evening event was held on Nov. 11 at Huguenot Springs Cemetery in northeastern Powhatan County.
In her speech, titled “Building with Integrity,” Dombroski spoke about her own experiences in the U.S. Air Force from 2001 to 2004, the opportunities her service as an information manager afforded her and the way it shaped her into the person and mother she became, she said.
“They trained me to be a keeper of my home and a trainer of my children. Little did I know that I was living out a set of core values of ‘integrity first, service before self, and excellence in all we do.’ These core values were instilled in every airman as soon as they went into basic training and every officer as soon as they stepped through those doors,” she said.
About 50 people attended the annual Veterans Day event, which was one of several communitywide Veterans Day programs held on or around the annual remembrance day.
The evening ceremony was sponsored by the J.E.B. Stuart Camp #1343 of the Sons of the Confederate Veterans and the Huguenot Springs Cemetery Foundation.
Dombroski thanked veterans for their service and pointed out their lifetime connection to the way they served their country.
“As veterans, our time of service may be over, but our commitment remains the same. We are still airmen, marines, soldiers, seamen, coast guard, and national guard. We now train the younger generation,” she said.
Dombroski spent a good portion of her talk drawing parallels between the values and lessons that both the military and American Heritage Girls seek to instill.
“American Heritage Girls is similar in its mission to build women of integrity through service to God, family, community, and country. Girls between the ages of 5 and 18 are taught that every American Heritage Girl is to love God, cherish their family, honor their country, and serve in their community by being compassionate: understanding others in fellowship, empathy, kindness, and caring,” she said.
Other characteristics they are taught to emulate are being helpful, honest, loyal, persistent, pure, resourceful, respectful, reverent and responsible, Dombroski said.
As master of ceremonies Edwin Ray, commander of the J.E.B. Stuart Camp #1343, thanked the people in attendance and encouraged them to visit again in the daylight so they could see the monument and the cemetery more clearly.
“We are very proud of the cemetery and certainly the soldiers who rest here and the work that our camp and the foundation perform to keep it appropriately cared for,” he said.
Pete Burruss, president of the Huguenot Springs Cemetery Foundation, reminded those in attendance that the purpose of the event was to honor veterans, especially those who fought and died in the Civil War.
The evening also included bagpipe music by Pipe Major David W. Hinton of the Virginia Scots Guards and color guard by Brigadier General W. C. Wickham Camp #2250; a wreath laying ceremony and an artillery salute by Knibb’s Battery.