The City of Black Oak served fried catfish, with all the trimmings, to the more than 200 guests in attendance at the 20th annual city-wide dinner held Saturday at city hall.
Black Oak Mayor Norman Williams welcomed the standing-room-only crowd of townspeople, friends, elected officials and community leaders. Peggy Williams gave each person present a folded yellow ribbon, with an American flag clasp, to recognize and remember U.S. troops overseas.
Savanah Stewart provided entertainment by singing "Proud to Be an American," and "God Bless America."
U.S. Representative Marion Berry addressed the audience with concern for American soldiers in combat.
"We all need to pray for divine intervention, for the safe keeping, health and welfare of our troops overseas," Berry said. "They are fighting to help us maintain our freedom, and we owe them a great debt of appreciation. Their sacrifices have not gone unnoticed.
"When our service men and women return home to us, we need to thank them and tell them how much we appreciate them."
"We always want to have our freedom, and to make sure everyone has an opportunity to be successful. Everyone deserves a fair chance in America, and we can't have liberty and be happy if people remain in poverty and are ignorant. Opportunities for a good education are vital if we are to grow and continue strong as a country."
County and state public officials present included Bill Gipson, Hubert Brodell, Eddie Thomas, Dale Haas, Jack McCann, Leroy Burton, Ann Hudson, Nancy Nelms, Quellin Vinson, Linda Watts, L.M. Duncan and members of the Buffalo Island Leadership Committee.
The Black Oak City Council consists of Johnny Williams, Kenny Vaughn, Randy Hutchison, Cotton Fisher and Maxie Jones.
The next regularly scheduled Black Oak council meeting is 6 p.m. May 12 at city hall.