They came to a park named for a citizen soldier who died at Bunker Hill to honor all of those veterans who have sacrificed to protect the country the American Revolution forged.
Warren County Veterans Council and AMVETS Post 50 held a Veterans Day program on Monday morning at General Joseph Warren Park in downtown Warren.
State Sen. Scott Hutchinson gave the keynote address.
Times Observer photo by Ben Klein
Warren County Veterans Council and AMVETS Post 50 held a Veterans Day ceremony at General Joseph Warren Park on Monday morning.
Warren Area High School sophomore Taylor John sang the national anthem and Warren City Councilman John Lewis and Warren County Commissioner John Egglston read proclamations declaring Monday, Nov. 11 as Veterans Day in the city and county.
"This is a time to celebrate a very special group of Americans, our United States Armed Services Veterans. I must admit that every time I'm asked to speak to veterans groups, I'm humbled and I'm somewhat intimidated because I've never myself served in uniform. However, I am deeply grateful to all those that did serve and continue to serve and I've been truly blessed to live in a great country, pursue my dreams and live in freedom. Thank you veterans, thank you very much," Hutchinson said.
"Our nation owes a great debt to our veterans whose service spans every decade, and whose service continues every day of our country's existence. Through untold courage, sacrifice, and selflessness, America's veterans have secured the liberty which our founding fathers sought to establish here in our new world," he continued. "Whenever and wherever our nation called, in times of darkness and danger, as well as in times of peace and prosperity, America's veterans have been there. It is our nation's veterans that have proudly carried the torch of liberty for the rest of us to enjoy."
American veterans have answered the call and cause of freedom, whether serving in combat on the frontline or stateside, Hutchinson said, adding, "Our veterans performed as part of the greatest defending and liberating organization ever known to mankind. They served the cause of freedom."
Hutchinson spoke of his father's humility as a radio operator in the Korean War, who like most veterans, didn't talk about his own service but "wanted to come home, get on with their lives, raise a family and make an ordinary life for themselves. Yes, they answered a call when it came, but they regarded that as a duty and not as a special service."
"Our nation's veterans put their lives on hold out of a sense of responsibility. They may not feel like heroes," Hutchinson said, "but they did serve their country from cooks, clerks, mechanics, to grunt to officer.
"The bottom line is this, no matter your personal ambivalence, your humility, or the circumstances of your service, every single one of those who answered the call should be proud. You are all heroes. You are my heroes, you are our nation's heroes...
Hutchinson said it's important to hold ceremonies like Monday's in honor of our nation's veterans "because the nation can never fully repay the debt to our servicemen and women, but we can remember them, what they did and why they served for us."