By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger
BETTENDORF — Rodney Mooney, who served more than 40 years in the United States Marine Corps, was the main speaker at a ceremony at Lourdes Catholic School on Nov. 8 to honor veterans.
As a line of veterans stood in front of the crowd, he first thanked those who served in the Vietnam War. “We welcome you home,” he said. The crowd clapped. He noted that he welcomes home any Vietnam veteran because of the poor treatment some received when they first returned home from the war. They were spit on and yelled at, he said. Next, he welcomed veterans of Desert Storm and the U.S.-Iraq War. The honor, he said, “is well deserved.”
Turning toward the students, Mooney told them that they are the future. “You are looking good.”
He asked the students, “What does the American flag stand for?” They responded, the Pledge of Allegiance, America, and freedom. “For me, it means one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all,” Mooney said.
When he entered the Marine Corps, he took an oath to defend the Constitution, he said. He advised the students to make sure that the Constitution remains as it is. He also encouraged them to stand their ground when they believe in something.
The Cub Scout and Scouts BSA opened and closed the ceremony with a color guard. Father Chris Weber, parochial vicar of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, opened and closed with prayer.