Members of the community gathered outside of the Ardmore Veterans Center on Friday to honor veterans and their families with music, ceremony and recognition.
Students from Ardmore and Plainview High Schools attended, along with veterans, their families, and members of the community. The Ardmore Community Band performed patriotic music and the National Anthem.
 Guest speaker Robert Harris delivered a speech about his time as an Air Force captain. Harris was part of a top secret group called the Rustics, which ran secret missions in Cambodia from 1970 to 1973. He ran 254 combat missions in Southeast Asia.
“We created friendships that lasted a lifetime, we bonded together and hoped that we’d never have to become heroes,” Harris said. “There’s a difference between warriors and heroes. Something you’ll hear in the military is three words said backwards, ‘All gave some, some gave all.’ Those that give all are the heroes.”
Patriot Guard Riders, a group that attends
and assists with military funerals, attends the event to pay tribute to veterans every year. Member Scott Berry said the group exists to show respect to veterans who’ve died and support their families.
“Pretty much this same group does this every year, and whenever we’re not working we come out and do what we can,” Berry said. “It really makes you think. I’m a vet, I was in the Navy. We just try to do what we can for our community, to help the families go through the grieving process.”
Greater Southwest Historical Museum director Admiral Wesley Hull spoke as well, introducing Harris and the Carter County Veterans Council, as well as providing opening and closing remarks. Hull said he believes it’s crucial to keep Veterans Day traditions alive.
“I think when you look at the liberties and freedoms that all Americans enjoy there’s one reason for that, that is our military,” Hull said. “Our military protects our nation, and you have them for one reason, to keep us safe and free. Not only do we want to recognize our veterans, but their families and all of their sacrifices as well. We always have to remember and honor them, that’s the tradition of this nation.”
 Seth Morgan performed Taps at the end of the ceremony.