Townspeople gather to honor and remember veterans

By SUSAN WADE
Posted 11/11/21

ELDRED, NY — One hundred and two years ago, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day to honor the end of the “war to end all wars” …

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Townspeople gather to honor and remember veterans

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ELDRED, NY — One hundred and two years ago, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day to honor the end of the “war to end all wars” the year prior. 

World War I officially ended on June 28, 1919 when the Treaty of Versailles was signed. But fighting ceased seven months earlier at 11 a.m. on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. The Congress officially recognized the end of the war on June 4, 1926 when it passed a concurrent resolution which “invited the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches or other suitable places with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples.”

And so, residents of Highland, Tusten and Lumberland gathered to do just that in Heroes Park adjacent to the Highland Town Hall. The ceremony began precisely at 11 a.m. and honored veterans still with us and those passed. 

The observance was jointly hosted by the local VFW and American Legion organizations, and was emceed by Tusten-Highland-Lumberland VFW Post 6427 Commander Pete Carmeci. 

Approximately 100 townspeople and local officials gathered, recited the pledge of allegiance, and stood silently while the gun salute was made and Taps played.

At the conclusion of the brief ceremony, members of the George Ross Mackenzie pre-school class, accompanied by their teachers, June Lombardi and Zita Kurtzman, shook the hands of each of the former servicemen who took part in the honor guard. 

As suggested by the Congressional resolution, a time of “friendly relations” followed in the town hall with the serving of cake and coffee and lively banter.

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