Honoring veterans in Farmington

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Fred O. Smith and Robert Ross head into Meetinghouse Park in Farmington to lay wreaths at the memorials Saturday. Robert Cox, right, heads in to lay a wreath at the World War II memorial. (Ann Bryant, Franklin Journal)

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.

Fred O. Smith and Robert Ross head into Meetinghouse Park in Farmington to lay wreaths at the memorials Saturday. Robert Cox, right, heads in to lay a wreath at the World War II memorial. (Ann Bryant, Franklin Journal)

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.”

abryant@sunmediagroup.net

The American Legion Roderick-Crosby Post 28 color guard marches to the front of the World War I Memorial Arch in Farmington on Saturday for a Veterans Day wreath-laying ceremony. From left are Horace LaBree, Stephan Bunker, Matthew Smith and Bob Hallman. (Ann Bryant/Franklin Journal)
Maine State Senate President Michael Thibodeau addresses the gathering at the 15th annual Veterans Day service inside Walmart in Farmington. Behind him is state Sen. Thomas Saviello and to the right, veteran Nelson Rackliff holds the flag. (Ann Bryant/Franklin Journal)
Boy Scout Troop 585 participated in the Pledge of Allegiance during the Veterans Day service held Saturday at Walmart in Farmington. From left are Andi and Yane Siamundele and Camaeron Fails. In back are leaders Ginger and Walter Fails. (Ann Bryant, Franklin Journal)
Fred O. Smith salutes after laying a wreath at the World War I memorial arch in Farmington on Saturday. The American Legion Roderick-Crosby Post 28 color guard and chaplain stand by during the Veterans Day service. From left are Horace LaBree, Stephan Bunker, Smith, Matthew Smith, Bob Hallman and Langdon Adams, chaplain. (Ann Bryant/Franklin Journal)
As Sammie Angel sings patriotic songs during the Veterans Day service at Walmart on Saturday in Farmington, Boy Scouts danced to the music. From left are Andi Siamundele, Camaeron Fails and Yane Siamundele of Troop 585 in Farmington. (Ann Bryant, Franklin Journal)

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