Honoring our Armed Forces with much more than lunch

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) -  The land of the free and the home of the brave. It's a message we honor.

Wednesday, we took some time to honor the men and women who put their lives on the line to defend that message.

The  Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County celebrated those serving and those who have served our country. It was their annual Armed Forces Celebration Salute Luncheon, part of Armed Forces week in Huntsville.

AMC’s General Dennis Via spoke for the second year in a row. This year's theme: Honor.

General  Via took a minute to honor the service men and women in the room. He took a minute to honor the veterans in the room. Then, he took a minute to honor the Tennessee Valley and the Redstone Arsenal.

"While much has changes, one thing hasn't," said Gen. Via. "That's the appreciation this community has for its armed forces, and the appreciation our armed forces have for this community."

Redstone Arsenal and the Huntsville community have supported the families of our armed forces.

"When you have a community that's special like here, it allows our soldiers to go forward and not  worry about their families being taken care of," Gen. Via said. "They can focus on their mission. They know they're going to be supportive in what they do."

Valor, courage and especially honor. That's what Gen. Via wanted everyone to give, and take away from Wednesday's luncheon.

"When we speak of the work honor, I don't think there is any other tribute you can pay to honor than the Medal of Honor," he said. "We talk about it to pay tribute to those great Americans."

The ceremony included a moment of silence for Major General Harold Greene, who died Tuesday in Afghanistan. General Via has know General Greene since Greene was a Colonel. He was with him just three months ago.

"This tragedy serves as a reminder of the thousands of soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines deployed around the world who continue to sacrifice their comfort and safety for our nation."

Those at Wednesday's ceremony offered thoughts and prayers for Greene and his family.

Here's the list of the remaining events for Armed Forces week.

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