Service to country recognized during Veterans Day ceremony
By Lynn R. Parks
Speaking at the annual Veterans Day commemoration held at Kiwanis Park in Seaford, state Rep. Dan Short urged people to document histories of their ancestors who were part of the nation's military.
He said that he had recently learned that his grandfather, who served during World War I, was stationed at Fort Dix, New Jersey, in 1918. Two generations later, Short served in the Army at Fort Dix.
Short said that he had also learned that his grandfather fought in the Battle of the Argonne, a 47-day fight on the Western Front that ended on Armistice Day, Nov. 11, 1918.
"Look into your family history and into what your grandfather did for your country," he told the audience. "Document your history and then relate it to young folks, so they know what happened."
Short was one of three speakers at the ceremony. State Sen. Bryant Richardson reflected on the kind of future that his young grandson will face. "Will he serve in the Armed Forces? Will he take on the uniform of this great nation? And if he does, what kind of enemy will he face? Will it be an enemy outside the country? Or inside the country?"
Richardson expressed thanks for "those men and woman who are willing to serve to protect and preserve the freedoms that we enjoy, and to make sure that our Constitution is protected." He added: "I pray that those who live in the future will be a committed to that cause."
Guest speaker was Col. Ron Eaton, Ret., who served in the Army and the National Guard for 38 years. He joined the Army in 1968 as a second lieutenant. He was trained as a helicopter pilot and served in Viet Nam. He is a master aviator with more than 5,000 hours of accident-free flying.
Eaton praised the veterans in the audience. "You helped to write our nation's history," he said. "Today is an observation of the commitment you made for the cause of peace. It is no small thing that you have done."
Eaton also thanked the veterans. "In essence, you wrote a blank check to the United States for any amount, up to and including your life. There are too many people in this world who no longer understand that kind of sacrifice."
But he told them that their time of service is not over. "Take time to share your values with those who are coming behind you," he said. "This country needs some values help."
Master of ceremonies was Pete Bohn, a retired U.S. Army helicopter pilot. "As a veteran, there is no better place to be on this day than at a Veterans Day ceremony," he said. "There will always be threats to our freedom. And there will always be those who are willing to fight for it. All that we love and enjoy today is because of our veterans."
Bohn asked veterans who were in the audience to gather around the park's war memorial. Included in those gathered were nine veterans of World War II.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, Bohn thanked members of the audience for being there on a gray and windy day.
"Our country is the Home of the Brave," he said. "It was yesterday, it is today and it will be tomorrow."
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Call Bryant Richardson at 629-9788.