Freedom Celebration Sunday, June 30 at Whittington Church

By Jim Muir

This Sunday, June 30 will be a day of patriotism and recognition as Whittington Church hosts its annual Freedom Day Celebration.

This will mark the 17th year that Whittington Church has honored all military veterans (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard) along with law enforcement and fire fighters.  All those in attendance will be recognized during the 10:30 a.m. service for their contribution and sacrifice.

whittington churchPastor Mark Minor said this year’s Freedom Celebration will include a special recognition of World War II veterans.

“World War II was the most critical and pivotal conflict of the 20th Century,” Minor said. “Every day, according to statistics from Department of Veterans Affairs, we lose 670 WW II veterans, with estimates of less than 10,000 veterans still alive. For those WW II veterans in attendance, there will be individual recognition and awards.”

Minor emphasized that the annual event is open to all military veterans or active/reserved duty, not just those who attend Whittington Church on a regular basis.

The longtime pastor said Freedom Day Celebration is something he and the entire congregation look forward to and embrace each year.

“For me, this is the most moving and meaningful service we do each year,” Minor said. “To see these men and women honored, to consider their service to our country, to recognize their sacrifice … they are God’s gift to America and the front line of Freedom.”

Minor said the yearly day of recognition for veterans and first responders is “well-deserved.”

“The Bible encourages us to ‘give honor to whom honor is due,” Minor said.  “If we do not honor those who put their lives on the line for Freedom, we don’t truly understand how precious and rare our Freedom is.”

Minor said the Freedom Day Celebration has provided many unforgettable moments and noted that the concept behind the event is simply to say ‘thanks.’

“One of the most memorable services was a few years ago when a Vietnam vet, who had been invited by a friend, was visibly moved by the standing ovation he received for his military service,” Minor said. “‘This is the first time’, he said, ‘that anyone has ever applauded or said ‘thank you’ to me for serving.’”  To say ‘thank you’ is what this service is all about.”

The Freedom Day Celebration begins at 10:30 a.m. and anybody needing more information can contact Whittington Church at 618-629-2423 or go to the church’s website at

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