By Lisa Rice
The American Legion Post 1250 in the Village of Florida held the only public Veteran’s Day services in the Town of Warwick on Wed., Nov 11 at 11 a.m., signifying the end of World War I on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. The modified service was held at the Veteran’s monument on Main St., next to a line of American flags placed by the Student Government at S.S. Seward Institute. All attendees stood socially distant and wore masks.
Veterans Day Honors Service of All Wars
“On this day, Veterans Day, we are commemorating service of all wars,” said President Fray Fuller after the opening prayer. “We remember how men and women set aside their civilian pursuits to serve the nation’s cause, defending the freedom of mankind and preserving the precious heritage.” He then announced the President of the Ladies Auxiliary, Beth Fuller.
“The fighting forces begin at the fireside and in the hometowns,” said Beth Fuller. “While the horrors of the battlefield may not have been our experience, we have lived with the terrifying loneliness created to answer an aggressor’s challenge…In waging war we have moved forward with a unity of purpose; which has made us strong. Forgetting pettiness, egotism and pride. Our heart beat in tune with those of other nations fighting for freedom and the dignity and opportunity of mankind.”
Honor Those Who Give
“Let us honor those who in public service seek not how much they may secure from the nation, but how they can give,” said First officer Tom Fuller. “Let us honor those who devote their lives to the education that will lead our children on to live and laugh and learn and love.”
Representative of Females Veterans Nancy Scott explained how Veterans Day was moved to a Monday to provide for a three-day weekend in 1968 by the Uniform Holiday Act in 1968 and then restored to be celebrated on Armistice Day in 1975 by President Gerald Ford. She said that Veterans Day was “designed to recognize all veterans both living and dead and the service they rendered to their country.”
“Courage is one of the virtues born of war,” said Second Officer Jack Fine. “We can turn slums into comfortable homes; turn uncertainty into certainty. We can reach new heights of civilization and new opportunities for men and women of this nation, if we have the courage to accept and work for a better way of life. The bravery that fights for political, social, economic and spiritual gains may be more difficult to practice, and may be unsung when achieved, but it is all the more worth striving for.”
Good Citizens Follow Choice of Majority
“Under our system of government, we may try to change the laws by majority rule,” said Third Officer Bob Scott. “As good citizens, we follow the choice of the majority, whether the choice be the individual’s or not. This is the virtue of the discipline which must be ours in peace. This is the lesson we must learn at home, in school on the playing fields, in organizations in the community and in the nation. It is the lesson of voluntary obedience to the majority. We must not be unmindful either of conclusions of other peoples which we have joined in the quest for an honorable world peace. This is the higher order of disciplines.”
“This has been a tough year on all of us for many, many reasons,” Scott continued, joking how as the last officer to speak, he can ad-lib a little. “We’re going to make it through this. We’re going to do well and we’re going to all have vaccines and we’re going to be able to shake hands again.”
Scott then commented that it was his pleasure to introduce the winner of the American Legion essay contest, Maeve Conlon to read her essay, “What America Means to Me.” It was initially supposed to be read on Memorial Day, but that celebration was even more modified than the current Veteran’s Day celebration.
‘What American Means to Me’ – Conlon
“We the people, the first three words of the constitution are words meant to inspire Americans about what we can do,” Conlon began her essay. “Military personnel, firefighters, police officers, teachers, nurses and doctors are jobs which are needed daily. Regardless of what is happening, these jobs need to be done day by day by these heroes in order for our nation to reach its absolute potential.”
“Everyone wonders who is behind the mask of heroes,” she concluded. “These people in America are the ones behind the mask. The ones who save lives while they do it and risk their own. The ones who are all going through trying times right now during this epidemic.”
“If these pure hearted people think America is worth fighting for, then so should you. Yes, we can own up to it and say we have made mistakes. But to learn what they were and to use that knowledge to help the next step for this country so we don’t do it again, is what makes us great.”
After Conlon read her essay, Village of Florida Mayer Daniel Harter, said “We’re here to honor our veterans, of course. I just wanted to say quickly to them all, thank you. We would not be here today without your service and dedication to our country.”
The ceremony concluded with “The Star Spangled Banner” sung by vocalist Alison Frank.
Veterans from the American Legion Post 1250 in the Village of Florida gathered at the Veterans monument in a modified ceremony to commemorate Veterans Day on Wed., Nov. 11.
‘This is the lesson we must learn at home, in school on the playing fields, in organizations in the community & in the nation,” said American Legion Post Third Officer Bob Scott. ‘It is the lesson of voluntary obedience to the majority.’
Essay contest winner Maeve Conlon read her winning entry, ‘What America Means to Me,’ at the Village of Florida American Legion Post 1250 Veterans Day Ceremony.
Alison Frank sang the National Anthem at the American Legion Post 1250 Veteran’s Day ceremony in the Village of Florida.