By Kim Lux
Dozens gathered in Gibson Park on Monday, Nov. 11, for the annual Veterans Day ceremony hosted by the North East American Legion Lake Shore Post 105 and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4789.
“Unlike Memorial Day, when we honor those veterans who paid the ultimate sacrifice, today we recognize all the men and women who have served our country,” said VFW Commander Thomas Hollarn. “North East has a proud history of service. All branches of the military are represented and all conflicts have had a North East citizen participate.”
Hollarn also encouraged members of the audience to thank a veteran today and every day for their service.
“Say thank you to a veteran,” he said. “It may not seem like much, but I can assure you it means a lot to them. I know I appreciate it when a young man or woman thanks me for defending our country.”
During the ceremony, veterans placed memorial wreaths and symbolic flowers at the base of the three war memorials in Gibson Park.
Community members were also invited to lay memorial items down to honor family and friends who’ve served.
“We owe so much to our Armed Forces,” said Mayor Steve Gregory. “As a community, we say thank you for your service and sacrifices that keep us safe.”
The local Honor Guard also gave a 21-gun salute and a bugle player with the North East High School Marching Band performed taps to culminate the ceremony.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of Veterans Day. The federal holiday is observed annually on Nov. 11.