American Legion Post Commander Terry Elia opened this year’s Veterans Day ceremony by asking for a prayer from the Legion’s Chaplain Joseph Cooper.
“Eternal Father of Heaven and Earth, as we gather here in humble recognition of your divine providence, we beseech you to usher into our world of confusion and doubt the peace and tranquility, which alone can come from you,” Cooper said. “Bless and protect our nation, be merciful to our honored dead, the memory of whose valor, courage and heroism inspires us to noble action and to eternal vigilance in the preservation of our liberty in our inalienable rights to enduring happiness.”
Judge Elia asked for a moment of silence, “at 11 minutes of the 11th hour of the 11th month for all our Veterans past, present and future and those who have given their lives.” This specific time refers to November 11, 1918 when all nations agreed to cease hostilities as WW I was drawing to a close while the terms of a peace agreement were being negotiated. On June 28, 1919 Germany and the Allied nations of the United States, Britain, France, Italy and Russia signed the Treaty of Versailles that officially ended World War I, the ‘War to End All Wars.’
November 11th was originally called Armistice Day but in 1954 President Eisenhower declared this day as Veterans Day when the country honors and thanks all who have served their nation, living and deceased.
Lloyd Supervisor Fred Pizzuto recalled his WW II Veteran father who once said, “It’s not about the past, it’s about the future...As I look out today I see that our American Legion VFW post grow to the point where it is now viable again, and see the size of our boy scouts and girls scouts, it’s heartwarming to me. This is our future and we’re here for them.”
Legion member and guest speaker John Fraino said a Veteran is a person who has served the country, “and today is a day that we recognize Veterans...Thank God all are not war heroes but all have made sacrifices of their time, separation from friends and family, assignments to foreign locations and careers, lives and relationships that have been put on hold. So Veterans, even in times of peace, have made sacrifices.” He concluded by urging everyone to take a moment to thank a Veteran for their service to the country.
Elia implored those in attendance to reach out to family, friend or a fellow Veteran when they need help.
“Our country is in tough times right now. We all have to do our part to keep Americanism what it is,” he said. “Thank you very much for attending today.”