Veterans Day 2018

By on November 11, 2018

A large crowd braved the cold this morning to gather on the steps of Verona Town Hall to mark Veterans Day, on the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.

Mayor Kevin Ryan delivered a speech that reflected on the history of Veterans Day, which honors all the men and women who have served in the armed forces of the United States in both war and peacetime. “The armistice that ended that conflict between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on November 11th 1918,” Ryan noted. “Back then this conflict was viewed as the ‘war to end all wars’. Sadly, as we now know, that was not the case.”

“Many of the brave men and woman who served in WWII are no longer with us,” he added. “They have been given the name ‘The Greatest Generation’ and rightly so, for saving us and many nations of Europe and Asia that would have been conquered by Germany and Japan. There was a clear victory at that time and the vets were welcomed back as heroes for their sacrifices. Programs liked the GI Bill and other government benefits recognized this in a tangible way.”

“Then came the Korean War. Our country was war-weary and exhausted but we recognized the fact that communist aggression on the Korean peninsula needed to be checked. The outcome was not as clear-cut, but the southern part of the peninsula was saved from Communist domination and became the nation now known as South Korea, a prosperous nation that stands in stark contrast to what takes place in North Korea. Those who served in that war can take a great sense of pride in what they prevented from happening.”

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“Now we get to our more recent conflicts in both the Vietnam and Iraq. I have observed both as an adult. Unfortunately the outcome in Vietnam was not what we were looking for and the verdict on Iraq is still up in the air.”

“It is important for us to remember that regardless of what our personal feelings were toward the political decisions made in both of these conflicts, the men and woman who served deserve the same amount of gratitude and respect for their service. Having personally witnessed how Vietnam Vets were initially treated upon their return I know this was not always the case. I served in the U.S. Army during that time and was fortunate not to have seen combat. Those that did really need to be supported and assisted in any way we can.”

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“To our governmental officials,” Ryan concluded, “I plead with you to think long and hard about any decision to send troops into combat without a clear goal or objective. The troops really need to know what they are fighting for.”

Ryan also shared with the crowd the story of how poppies came to symbolize Veterans Day. You can read the history in Time magazine here.

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One Comment

  1. Aaron Kriegel

    November 11, 2018 at 10:14 pm

    Verona honored our veterans, Trump did not. There is nothing more to say.

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