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Schuyler County celebrates Veterans Day

WATKINS GLEN–A number of people gathered together on the Schuyler County Courthouse lawn in honor of our veterans, Wednesday, Nov. 11.  Men and women of the military, both home and overseas were thanked for their service and courage.
Tony Specchio, who has led the annual Veterans Day ceremony for over 40 years, began the Veterans Day event a little after 11 a.m.  Boy Scout Troop 2674 marked the beginning of the ceremony by first receiving the flag and then hanging it in honor of our veterans.  
The Victory Singers from Freedom Village sang “The Star Spangled Banner,” to help remind everyone of the sacrifices that the military has done, in order to give the country freedom.
Schuyler County Legislator Glenn R. Larison stood up to thank all of the veterans and remember them, but to also think of the families of these veterans and those who still have friends and family members in the military.  
Commander Rick Lewis brought to attention that many World War II veterans are passing away.  He wanted to remind everyone to give them a special thanks and a hug, because they most likely won’t be around too much longer.  
Marion Webster from the VFW Ladies Auxiliary encouraged all veterans and community members to join or support local veteran organizations.  “Join and fight for the right you’ve earned, for yourself and other veterans,” she said, in regards to Obama’s plan to reduce money and benefits for those with an honorable discharge and veterans.  
Guest speaker James P. Coleman II served in active duty for eight years and has been in the reserves for 19 years.  He first dedicated his speech to his father who was a World War II veteran, his two sons, James P. Coleman III and Brian P. Coleman, who are currently serving in the military, and to his wife Ellen who has dealt with the anxieties of having a husband and two sons in the military throughout their 42 years of marriage.
Coleman outlined the history of the wars that have defined the country, including both the tragedies and perseverance that has held it all together.  He said that we are all here today because of the spirit of our country and its veterans, and with that we have prevailed.  
 “The history of the U.S. is the history of our veterans,” Coleman said, before saluting all of the veterans in the past, present and future.  
The Victory Singers from Freedom Village closed the ceremony by singing “God Bless America,” and giving hope to the country, its veterans and those currently serving in the military. 

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