On an overcast day with a light rain falling, people came out for a Veterans Day ceremony Wednesday morning at Soldiers and Sailors Park in Warren to honor all those who have or are currently serving in our armed forces.
Overlooking the Allegheny River, the American Legion Post 135 and the J.H. Pendleton Marine Corp. League put on a ceremony that included a raising of the colors, the reading of the Gettysburg Address, placing of the wreaths and a brief keynote address from Pa. State Representative Kathy Rapp.
“The veterans organization does a great job,” said Post 135 adjutant Pat Ross. “It’s one of our big events, along with the Memorial Day Service that we take time to remember the folks that got us here.”
Ross noted that Wednesday is a day for veterans that are still here, and one he enjoys deeply.
“Quite frankly, it’s enjoyable for us,” he said. “To set it up, talk to old friends again, that sort of thing.”
Rapp discussed how humbled she was to take part in the ceremony.
“Veterans are very dear to me,” she said. “We spend today remembering the men and women of our armed forces who have come together to fight for a common cause. Pennsylvania has a strong history as defenders of freedom and protectors of liberty. I’d like to think it’s because of our foundation as the birthplace of this nation.
“We owe our veterans a huge debt of gratitude. It’s incumbent upon all of us to ensure these men and women have the support that they may need, whatever that may be. They just need to know we’re there for them, and we are.”
After Rapp spoke, the Sheffield and Clarendon VFWs, as well as Post 135 firing squad fired simultaneously, which was followed by the playing of taps.
All in all, Ross was very pleased with the ceremony.
“With the weather and everything else going on, this was a pretty good turnout,” he said. “Today is a great day.”