Veterans Day Ceremonies Held Last Wednesday
Veterans young and old along with the community gathered at the bandshell on the courthouse lawn last Wednesday, Veterans Day, to honor American veterans from all wars, as well as those who served in times of peace.
Traditionally the Mc- Connellsburg area Veterans Day ceremonies sponsored by American Legion Post 561 and Bishop Raker VFW Post 655 are held at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month marking the signing of the armistice ending World War I in 1918. In 1954 President Dwight Eisenhower signed a bill into law officially changing the name of the day of remembrance from Armistice Day to Veterans Day.
American Legion Post Cmdr. George Black introduced the featured speaker Lt. Col. Jeff Powell, who has served in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Croatia, Germany, Iraq, Italy and Kosovo.
Powell told the gathering, “Our nation owes a great debt to its veterans, whose service spans every decade, and will continue for every day of our country’s existence. Through untold courage and sacrifice, Amerian’s veterans have secured the liberty which our founding fathers sought to establish here in the new world. Whenever and wherever the nation has called – in times of darkness and danger as well as in times of peace and prosperity – America’s veterans have been there proudly carrying the torch of liberty for all to see.”
“This Veterans Day, as for the past seven years, our nation is at war. Our service members continue to fight to defend our freedoms and combat the threat of terrorism. Their service to our country and way of life calls for us to honor and celebrate our nation’s veterans,” Powell said. “Today let us honor those veterans whose service is recorded in the history of conflicts past, and the efforts of our current generation of warriors whose actions continually add to our nation’s rich history. Let us not forget that that at this very moment, there are men and women stationed around the world standing in harm’s way to protect us and our way of life.”
“Today is important because we choose to honor the living veterans from the Greatest Generation to the Latest Generation. We owe them a debt we can never repay. All we can do is remember them and what they did for us. But we must honor them with deeds, not just words. So how do Americans properly thank their veterans this day? Americans can thank them by living their lives and enjoying America’s greatness. Americans can thank veterans by taking full advantage of all your rights that they defended,” Powell said.
Powell also called for all veterans of the armed forces in the audience and those still serving to stand and be recognized. He then told them, “Ladies and gentlemen, you are simply put, all ordinary people who accomplished extraordinary things and you have the eternal gratitude of a very grateful nation. May God bless you and the United States of America. May it forever remain a beacon of freedom.”
Ceremonies also included the Salute to the Honored Dead and the playing of taps. A wreath was placed at the county’s four war memorials. The wreath was donated by the Decker family in memory of Col. Chester Davis, USMC, Ret., and Charles C.A. Davis USMC.
Also participating in the ceremonies were Fulton Honor Guard Capt. Marvin DeShong and chaplain Robert C. Snyder.
Musical selections were by the McConnellsburg High School Band and Forbes Road High School Band.