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Dayton honors local veterans

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    Vietnam Era Veterans Ron Peroni and former Liberty County Commissioner Bobby Payne and his children Ben Payne and Regina Ressler visit before the ceremony. Both men were among the 83 new names.
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    The Dayton Junior ROTC presented the colors to open the dedication ceremony.
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    Former Dayton Mayor Steve Stephens addresses attendees during the dedication ceremony at the Dayton Veterans Memorial Wall. The Vindicator | Russell Payne

On a day where the nation was remembering the 80th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, the City of Dayton came together to pay tribute to local veterans that served their country. A large crowd was on hand to celebrate the addition of 83 names to the Veterans Memorial Wall of Honor at the Dayton Community Center.

The project resulted from the hard work of former Dayton Mayor Steve Stephens, with the assistance of Entergy Texas, who has assisted the city on two separate occasions with funds for the project and the current city council.

“This is a testament to the men and women on this wall,” said Stephens.

The wall was initially constructed in 2009, under Stephens and former councilmembers Jay Knight, Richard Brown, Frosty Pruitt, Felix Skarpa, and Barbara Zaruba. The current wall is now completely filled, and Stephens hopes that the wall can be expanded to add more names of local service people soon, as there are already 80 more applicants waiting.

Mayor Caroline Wadzeck applauded the work of all the Dayton council members that have worked to help fund and construct the wall.

Entergy Texas Customer Service Manager Ron Fletcher was on hand, and he spoke of the freedoms that we enjoy in America because of the service of veterans across the country.

“As you look at the names on the wall, remember they gave the ultimate sacrifice to give us our freedoms,” said Fletcher.

Finally, a representative of State Rep. Ernest Bailes presented the city with a certificate recognizing them for working so diligently to honor local veterans.