Harpersville Day showcases patriotism, fun

HARPERSVILLE – Col. Randall M. Zeegers told those in attendance at the Fourth Annual Harpersville Day on Saturday, Nov. 11, that everyone has an important part to play in building and sustaining a military that protects our freedom.

As the guest speaker for the event that featured a parade, car show, live music and more, Zeegers pointed to the continued willingness of youth to enter military service.

“It takes a community to build that,” Zeegers said.

The theme of Harpersville Day, which has been held around Veterans Day each year, was “Red, White and the Blues.”

Chad Baker Band performed at 8 a.m., and a parade was held at 10 a.m.

The Salute to Veterans began at 11 a.m. with an invocation from Harpersville City Councilman Martin Dates, the Pledge of Allegiance led by American Legion Post 68 members, songs from Jon Harrison and Edwina Chappell, a welcome from City Councilwoman Janet Gill, recognition of veterans led by Mayor Don Greene and closing prayer from the Rev. Mike Marcum of Vincent First Baptist Church.

The winners of the annual hay bale decorating contest were recognized by Town Clerk Stacy Walkup: Mount Olive Church, honorable mention; Vincent Elementary School, Creativity Award; Coosa Valley Academy, Artistic Award; Harpersville Fire Department, Innovative Award; Harpersville Police Department, Patriotic Award; Zumba, Spirit Award; Dr. Becky’s Animal House, third place; Jared Morris with the Harpersville Water Department, second place; and Gwen Valenti, first place.

Peg Hill of the Shelby County Board of Education served as master of ceremonies.

Primary sponsors included Morris-Shea Bridge Co. Inc., diamond sponsor, and Bama Budweiser of Shelby County and Alagasco, platinum sponsors.

During his service in the National Guard, Zeegers has been deployed in support of Operation Desert Storm, to Bosnia and to Afghanistan.

He is currently the deputy commanding general at the U.S. Army Special Forces Command (Airborne) at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

Zeegers has lived in Chelsea and Columbiana and said he has seen “a strong sense of service” in Shelby County.

“I’m proud to call each and every one of them my brothers and sisters in arms,” he said of fellow veterans he has met.

Zeegers said his two grandfathers, father and two uncles served.

“Sometimes, service to our country, in uniform, is a family business,” he said. “They taught me to love our country and have a spirit of service to it.”

But sacrifice is not limited to those in uniform, Zeegers said.

“When dad deploys, everyone now has new responsibilities at home,” he said.