Honoring veterans

Published 11:03 pm Sunday, September 27, 2020

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Polk approves proclamations for veteran suicide, POW/MIAs and Sept. 11

COLUMBUS—The Polk County Board of Commissioners approved resolutions and proclamations in remembrance of Sept. 11, 2001, POW/MIA recognition day and for military suicide awareness month this week. 

The Polk County Board of Commissioners met Monday night and heard from VFW Post 9116 members Joyce Preston and Michael Collins, who read the resolutions and proclamation. 

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Preston thanked all veterans for their service and said September is a really important month. The VFW Post 9116 Auxiliary was 114 years old on Sept. 14 and the VFW was 121 years old on Sept. 21. 

There are 22 veterans who die by suicide every day in the United States, which make up 20 percent of all American suicides. 

There are 83,000 Americans that are still missing in action. 

Commissioner vice chair Tommy Melton said when he heard that 22 veterans will commit suicide today, when he lays down to go to sleep he cannot wrap his head around it. 

“And the reason we are sitting in this room is because of the veterans,” Melton said. 

He asked why there are 22 veterans who kill themselves every day and said nobody can give him an answer. 

Preston said she does not think veterans are getting the proper help they need when they get out with their post traumatic stress disorder. She said hopefully the Veterans Affairs will get better and maybe family members will get help to know the signs. 

“God bless America and God bless our troops,” Preston said. 

Following are the resolutions and proclamations commissioners approved Monday night: 


POW/MIA Recognition Day


In every conflict in which our Nation has been involved, selfless American service members have sacrificed their lives for the sake of our country and its principles. Too many have never come home, or have endured unthinkable hardship as prisoners of war. During this month and on this day, we echo the creed inscribed on the black and white banners that fly in honor of America’s Prisoners of War and Missing in Action, and we renew our promise to our heroes, that “You Are Not Forgotten.”;

We will never give up the search for those who are held as prisoners of war or have gone missing under our country’s flag. We honor their sacrifice, and we must care for their families and pursue the fullest possible accounting for all missing members of our Armed Forces.

Together, we must serve our Nation’s patriots as well as they have served us by supporting them when they come home, and by carrying on the legacy of those who do not. This is a promise we keep for our fallen, for our veterans past and present, and for all those whose loved ones have not returned from the battlefield.

On 18 September, 2020, the stark black and white banner symbolizing America’s Missing in Action and Prisoners of War will be flown over the Polk County Court House, in Columbus, NC, the County Seat, the Polk County Veterans Brick Memorial, United States post offices, and other locations across our County. We raise this flag as a solemn reminder of our obligation to always remember the sacrifices made to defend our Nation.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Polk County Memorial Veterans Of

Foreign Wars; Auxiliary to Post #9116 request that the Board of Commissioners do hereby proclaim September 2020 as Polk County POW/MIA Month, and 18 September 2020, as Polk County POW/MIA Recognition Day, and we urge all Polk County citizens to observe this day of honor and remembrance with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, we have hereunto set our hands this twenty-first day of September 2020.


Military Suicide Awareness Month

WHEREAS, in recent years, military suicides have reached numbers equal to or higher than that of combat deaths; and

WHEREAS, more female veterans are committing suicide than ever before.

WHEREAS, the VA estimates that a Veteran commits suicide every sixty-five minutes. That’s 22 per day, 7,300 suicides a year, and 20% of all American suicides.

WHEREAS, frequent deployments, stress of combat and prolonged separation from families have increased strain on military personnel and their families; and

WHEREAS, military personnel are reluctant to ask for help when they are depressed; and untreated depression is the number one cause of suicide among military personnel; and

WHEREAS, military personnel are encouraged to seek help to restore balance in their lives, as well as the lives of their families by engaging in stress relief activities, maintaining a buddy system of support so that no soldier stands alone, remembering the importance of self-care by engaging in activities that improve state of mind, asking for help from a professional, being aware that help is available through a variety of sources, including the Veterans Administration and Suicide Prevention hotlines; and

WHEREAS, The Polk County Commissioners joins the Polk County Memorial VFW Post #9116 and the Auxiliary in urging all active and former military personnel and their families to seek help for behavior health issues.

NOW, THEREFORE, we, the Polk County Board of Commissioners do hereby declare

September 2020 as “MILITARY SUICIDE AWARENESS MONTH”, and commend its observance to all citizens.


In remembrance of Sept. 11, 2001


WHEREAS, the Polk County Board of Commissioners is in support of the United States Senate regarding the coming together as a Nation and ceasing all work or other activity for a moment of remembrance beginning at 1:00 pm Eastern Daylight Time on September 11, 2020, in honor of the 19 th anniversary of the terrorist attacks committed against the United States on September 11, 2001; and

WHEREAS, four civilian aircraft were hijacked on September 11, 2001, and deliberately crashed in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C., resulting in the loss of nearly 3,000 innocent lives; and

WHEREAS, countless fire departments, police departments, first responders, government officials, civilian workers, emergency medical personnel and volunteers responded immediately and heroically to these horrific events, many suffering fatalities in their rescue efforts; and

WHEREAS, the Polk County Board of Commissioners does hereby salute the American citizens who responded to these tragic events with courage, selfless compassion, determination, and skill, both on

September 11, 2001, and in the intervening nineteen years; and

WHEREAS, a decade later the people of the United States and around the world continue to mourn the tremendous loss of innocent life on that fateful day, and their lives are forever changed as a result of this unprecedented threat to the American way of life; and

WHEREAS, on the 19 th anniversary of this tragic day, the citizens of Polk County join the Polk County Memorial VFW Post #9116 and the Auxiliary, their fellow Americans, and people around the world, in remembrance of the victims of the attacks on September 11, 2001, and their thoughts are with the families and those left behind; and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Polk County Board of Commissioners hereby recognizes September 11, 2020, as a day of solemn remembrance of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001; honors the heroic service, actions and sacrifices of the first responders and countless others who bravely risked and likewise often gave their lives during the rescue efforts; and offers its deepest and most sincere condolences to the families, friends and loved ones of the victims of the

September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Adopted this 21th day of September, 2020.