By Ann Bryant, Staff Writer
FARMINGTON — At the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the color guard of American Legion Roderick-Crosby Post 28 and others honored veterans of World War I at the memorial on Main Street on Saturday.
Veterans Day marks the armistice between the Allies and Germany, that went into effect at the 11th hour of the 11th day in the 11th month in 1918, ending the war, he said.
A wreath was laid and a prayer said by Legion Chaplain Langdon Adams at the memorial. Those who came to remember and honor continued down Main Street to Meetinghouse Park where wreaths were laid at the World War II, Civil War and Vietnam memorials.
Many went on to Walmart for the 15th annual Veterans Day service there.
State Senate President Michael Thibodeau noted how “we can’t help but be proud to be an American.”
Our country, our politicians often seek God’s blessing, but there is none greater than God’s blessing on our American veterans, he said.
The men and women who served in WWI and WWII, the Korean, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq wars, and today those who fight the war on terror, put their lives on hold to fight for freedom, Thibodeau said.
The veterans of World War II came home and worked hard to make the American economy one envied by the world, he said. “The veterans of Korea gave millions of people the opportunity to experience democracy.”
Quoting President Ronald Reagan, Thibodeau reminded the gathering at Walmart that “while we think of soldiers from early wars as old, they were actually boys when they died, boys that gave up the chance to be husbands, fathers and grandfathers.
“They gave everything for us. All we can do is remember,” he read from Reagan’s Veterans Day address in 1985.
After Armistice Day came in 1918, World War I was considered the war to end all wars, but every generation has had to be ready to fight, he said.
Armistice Day was 99 years ago, state Rep. Lance Harvell noted.
“Does ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ still wave?” Harvell asked. “Yes, it has for 200 years and we hope it does for the next 200 years.”
State Rep. Russell Black said, “Today, Veterans Day, we have the freedom to gather and celebrate. We’re proud Maine has the largest veteran population, 127,000 veterans.”