At the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month, Warren County paused to remember those who served their nation.
Disabled American Veterans Chapter 75 held a Veteran's Day program on Sunday in Soldiers and Sailors Park. Major Keith Trohoske, Ret. US Army, gave the keynote address.
Set aside to honor those who were ready to give life itself, Trohoske said Veteran's Day started in 1919 when President Woodrow Wilson declared Armistice Day to recognize those who served in World War I. Since then, it has come to encompass all of those who have worn the nation's uniform.
Times Observer photo by Colin Kyler
Brian Bonner from the Boy Scouts of America plays the trumpet during Sunday’s Veterans Day program at Soldiers and Sailors Park.
"Our citizen soldiers did not seek gain or fame," Trohoske said. "Theirs was a simple patriotic response in recognizing the duty to serve."
In doing so, military personnel secured the liberty their nation's founders sought to establish. Whenever there has been a threat to that liberty, Trohoske said veterans were there to confront it.
Of the country's population, fewer than 10 percent can claim the title of veteran. However, Trohoske said, their numbers are disproportionately large in continuing to serve on the homefront through police and fire departments and responding to emergencies.
"We owe them a debt we can never repay," Trohoske said. "We must honor them with our deeds and not just our words."
This includes taking advantage of all the rights they fought to defend. By doing so, Trohoske said, their sacrifices will not be in vain.
Veterans have worked to combat terrorism, Trohoske said, both in past conflicts and currently protecting us at this moment. Hopefully, they will be able to come home.
President George Washington served as our nation's first Commander in Chief and observed young people's willingness to join the military would be determined by how they perceive veterans are treated. President John F. Kennedy also held that title, Trohoske said, and believed nations are measured not only by the people they produce but also those they honor and remember.
"We salute each and every one of our veterans," Trohoske said. "As a result of their extraordinary accomplishments, the nation owes them an extraordinary debt."
Al Harrison gave an invocation which expressed thanks for all who served, especially those who bear wounds of the body and spirit. Some are in veterans hospitals or rehabilitation, suffering from post traumatic stress disorder or survivor's guilt.
As they yearn for peace, Harrison prayed their wounds might heal. This would allow them to return fully to their families and society.
"We thank you, God, for veterans of the past and those who earn that title today," Harrison said. "Let us never forget what was asked of them as they resolved to create a world modeled after your realm where war is pursued no more."