U.S. Sen. John W. Warner warned in a speech May 2 to more than 300 guests attending Alexandria Salvation Army's Annual Civic Dinner, "We could see terrorism [again] crossing these shores."
And, should that happen, Warner said, "The Salvation Army is very much a first responder. Just as they were on 9/11 at the Pentagon and in New York City."
Using the 60th anniversary of the World War II battle for Okinawa, in which the U.S suffered 12,000 killed, 36,000 wounded and the loss of 34 naval ships over the 82-day siege, Warner said, "We will probably never see another battle like Okinawa. But, we could see Okinawa size losses here at home."
Serving as the event's keynote speaker, Warner praised the Salvation Army for being "side by side with American armed forces since 1899." During World War I "Salvation Army volunteers were not in the rear echelons. They were on the front lines with the troops."
Prior to World War II, the Salvation Army, along with other organizations, was "instrumental in forming the USO," according to Warner. "Thank you to those that have supported this organization over the years," he said.
He closed his remarks by citing George Washington's admonition for avoiding conflict. "The best way to deter war is to be prepared for it," Warner told the packed ballroom of the Old Town Radisson Hotel.
INTRODUCED BY William Livingood, Sergeant at Arms, U.S. House of Representatives, Warner was described as "one who had dedicated his life to public service" in both a civilian and military capacity. He enlisted at age 18 to serve in World War II. He also served as a Marine during the Korean Conflict.
Prior to being elected to the U.S. Senate from Virginia in 1978, Warner served as Assistant Secretary and then Secretary of the Navy. The second longest serving U.S. senator in Virginia history, Warner is chairman of the Armed Forces Service Committee.
He has spent his Senatorial career on that committee. "I have traveled to Iraq seven or eight times to meet with our soldiers. And I can tell those men and women serving over there consider John Warner a hero because he makes sure their needs are met," Livingood said.
IN ADDITION to paying tribute to all those who have supported the Salvation Army's mission over the years, George A. Hatzes, Jr. and James L. Kelly, III, were presented with certificates of Life Time Membership to the Advisory Board recognizing their decades of service.
Hatzes has served on the board for 43 years and Kelly for over 30 years, according to Salvation Army Major Todd Smith who presented the certificates. "We could not do what we do without volunteers like you," he told the two as they joined him on the stage. "On behalf of The Army we say a very sincere thank you."
Majors Tony and Suzanne Barrington, leaders of the Alexandria Salvation Army, outlined all the various activities undertaken by the local group in "A Celebration of Service to the Community."
"The Salvation Army has been in Alexandria for 110 years and we have participated in and continue to support many community programs from shelters to affordable housing," said Tony Barrington.
Suzanne Barrington paid special tribute to the Army's Ladies Auxiliary that has provided "more than $50,000" for the organization's children's camp.
Initiating the evening's festivities was an invocation vocal selection by Callie M. Terrell, a 33-year-veteran of the Alexandria Fire Department, where she serves as administrative assistant to the fire chief. Windsor W. Demaine, a member of the Advisory Board and chair of the Dinner Committee, served as the event's the master of ceremonies.
Music throughout the reception and dinner was provided by National Capital Brass. A special musical presentation was performed by the Alexandria Corps Timbrelists under the direction of Elsie Morris.