Stop and pay tribute

Warren County honors those who served, sacrificed for their country

Veterans honor the flag during the Veterans Day ceremony Saturday at Soldiers and Sailors Park.

At 11 o’clock on the eleventh day of the eleventh month, people gathered throughout Warren County to honor and remember those who served and sacrificed.

“Historically and traditionally, Veterans Day has been more of a civic than a sacred remembrance,” Disabled American Veterans Past State Commander Walt Simpson said during the Veterans Day ceremony Saturday at Soldiers and Sailors Park in Warren.

After the end of World War I, Americans celebrated Armistice Day on Nov. 11 — “to show their sympathy with peace and justice,” Simpson said. That continued even as tensions rose in Europe leading to the outbreak of World War II.

In 1954, Congress changed Armistice Day to Veterans Day and President Dwight D. Eisenhower called on citizens to “remember the sacrifices of those who fought in all of our country’s wars,” Simpson said.

In Eisenhower’s 1954 proclamation, he said, “On that day let us solemnly remember the sacrifices of all those who fought so valiantly, on the seas, in the air, and on foreign shores, to preserve our heritage of freedom, and let us reconsecrate ourselves to the task of promoting an enduring peace so that their efforts shall not have been in vain.”

Keynote Speaker U.S. Marine Corps Veteran Ronald ‘Red’ Burdett addressed the gathering at Soldiers and Sailors Park. “I come as a veteran speaking for those who cannot speak for themselves,” he said.

Veterans Day is not intended to glorify war, Burdett said. “We are not here to condone war or glorify war, we are here to honor those who served and sacrificed. They have sacrificed themselves in any number of ways to ensure that we are free of tyranny and oppression.”

There were about 60 people in attendance at Saturday’s ceremony.

“I thank you for coming here and respecting those who served,” Burdett said.

With the temperature below freezing, Simpson said he was not sure so many would show up.

“This showed that we have people in Warren that care to remember the people we served with and those we left behind,” he said. “Thank you.”