(11/11) "It doesn't take a hero to order men into battle. It takes a hero to be one of those men who goes into battle." – General Norman Schwarzkopf
A persistent, chilly wind failed to deter several dozen Harney veterans and area residents from honoring those who have faced, and those who continue to face, "shot and shell" on hundreds of battlefields in a dozen wars fought over the course of two centuries.
Harney’s Veterans of Foreign Wars, Monocacy Valley Memorial Post 6918, held its annual observance of Veterans Day on November 9, opening the ceremonies with Tom Nicolls rendition of the Star Spangled Banner, to a backdrop of fully-furled flags whipping about in the steady wind.
Post Commander Albert Angell, said, regarding the commemoration, "We pause to remember the sacrifices given by our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and the Coast Guard during times of war and conflicts."
"It is a day we recognize not just those who have given their lives in war, but all who have served and continue to serve in the United States military," Angell state.
He said Veterans Day is a time to think of those who served in World War I and World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Granada, Bosnia, and Kosovo, and those who have served in, or continue to serve in, the Middle East, "particularly Iraq and Afghanistan."
Men’s Auxiliary President Doug Gross said, "Veterans Day is celebrated on November 11 because that is the day the ceasefire took place during World War I on the Western Front in France in 1918…ending hostilities between Allied forces and Germany."
While Veterans Day was initially established as Armistice Day to remember those who fought in World War I, after the Korean War the day was changed to honor all veterans, Gross noted.
Regarding all of those who have served, Gross stated, "If it wasn’t for all of those who served, giving up their personal lives for the time they served…chances are this great nation of ours would not still exist."
"Take the time to tell our veterans thank you for what you did and thanks for serving your country," Gross said. "It’s a small thing to do for those who have done so much for us and your country."
During the commemoration ceremony, Emmitsburg News-Journal Publisher Michael Hillman presented the post with the original World War I "Purple Heart" certificate of Emmitsburg area resident Charles J. Rowe, who was wounded during the Battle of the Argonne Forest.
Hillman acquired the document after having discovered it being offered for sale on eBay by a California seller.
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