Chilly temperatures and wind prevailed as the Veterans Day parade made its way to Town Hall Thursday in Poncha Springs, where Dennis Hunter, commander of American Legion Post No. 64, welcomed visitors and Richard Blake, post chaplain, offered a prayer.
An honor guard composed of veterans from the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and Marine Corps League presented the flag, and veterans offered a three-gun salute, which stands for honor, duty and country – three words that help define the service veterans have sworn to in service to this nation.
Jennifer Scanga sang the National Anthem.
Hunter thanked the Town of Poncha Springs and Mayor Ben Scanga for allowing the Veterans Day parade and ceremony and explained the meaning of Veterans Day, which began at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918 when the Armistice with Germany went into effect, ending World War I. It was renamed Veterans Day in 1954 at the urging of major U.S. veterans organizations.
Thursday was also the 100th anniversary of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Washington, D.C. Since then unknown soldiers from World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam have been added.
“Today and every day,” Hunter said, “please reach out to the many veterans, both in military and local service like your police and firefighters serving our communities. Without them we could not have the freedom we take for granted.”
The ceremony concluded with Tibor “Ted” Sarai playing taps.