On Tuesday at 11 a.m., Veterans from the area, state legislature members, town officials and community members gathered at the Windham Veteran’s Center to honor those who currently serve and those who have served. The event, sponsored by the VFW Post 10643, was attended by more than 200 people.
“Fewer than 10 percent of Americans can claim the title ‘Veteran’,” according to the VFW Post.
After the presentation of the colors by Boy Scout Troop 805, the Windham Chamber Singers sang the National Anthem. Master of ceremonies Willie Goodman recognized the many Veterans in the audience.
VFW chaplain Roger Timmons gave the invocation. The keynote speaker was Chief Master Sergeant John Herrick who spoke about his experience with civilian soldiers in the Air National Guard. He himself started his career in the Air Force in 1986. In our state 12 percent of citizens are Veterans, which is above the National average, Herrick said. “We should stand proud. Our state’s citizens are and have done their part.”
Herrick concluded his speech with a quote from Joshua Chamberlain. “The power of noble deeds is to be preserved and passed on to the future.” That was what Veteran’s Day is all about.
Each year the Veterans of Foreign Wars hosts a writing contest that gives students to write about topics having to do with patriotism and Americanism. The winners all earned cash prizes.
Winners of the Patriot’s Pen wrote about “Why Veterans are important to our Nation’s history and future”. The winners are Alexander Momet, Alyvia Earle, Owen Flibbert and Harrison Boyle. Gardner Reed won the Voice of Democracy with his speech about the theme “Why I appreciate Americas Veterans. Each recipient read his or her entry out loud.
Post teacher of the year was awarded to Patricia Gordan from Raymond Elementary School.
After a final prayer, the audience retired to the Memorial Garden to dedicate a granite bench to Retired Colonel Stuart “Toby” Pennels and to recognize Veteran Fred Scott. The shining sun set the content and happy moods that surrounded the event. Boy Scout Dean Preston to conclude the event by playing Taps on the bugle. The American Legion Auxiliary provided refreshments.