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Veterans Day Observance Held in Sunset Park

On Friday, Nov. 11, the annual Veterans Day Observance was held at Sousa Bandshell in Sunset Park. Local veterans and members of the American Legion Post 509 and Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, Henderson-Marino Post 1819 gathered together with the community to honor this day of remembrance. Local photographer Owen Costello captured the significant moments of this memorable day through photos, which are featured in this issue.

The ceremony began with American Legion Post 509 Treasurer Larry Tuck ringing the traditional bell 11 times at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, which was representative of when World War I ended. Jerry Devine led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance and Rev. Eldon Simpson, pastor of the United Methodist Church, read the Invocation. WWII Veteran Art Wade, adjutant of the American Legion Post 509, was the keynote speaker.

Music was also part of the observance. John Pickow sang the national anthem and Korean War Veteran Vince Borkowski played Taps.

VFW Post 1819 Commander John Chalker, who is an Iraq veteran, read the poem Rouge Bouquet by Sgt. Joyce Kilmer, 69th NY Infantry Reg’t, KIA 1918. It is about young soldiers who nobly gave their lives, and the poem served as a reminder to honor our veterans who never returned home. In the final passage of this poem, Sgt. Kilmer wrote:

...And up to Heaven’s doorway floats,
From the wood called Rouge Bouquet,
A delicate cloud of bugle notes
That softly say:
“Farewell!
Farewell!
Comrades true, born anew, peace to you!
Your souls shall be where the heroes are
And your memory shine like the morning-star.
Brave and dear,
Shield us here.
Farewell!”