County veterans remembered

November 12, 1998

Milt Rider: Color GuardBy BRYN MICKLE / Staff Writer

photo: RICHARD T. MEAGHER / staff photographer

Veterans from across Washington County came together Wednesday to pay tribute to the men and women who have served their country.

Col. Jean Shinbur, speaking at a Veterans Day observance in the Veterans Memorial Garden of Martin L. "Marty" Snook Memorial Park in Halfway, stressed the importance of remembering the sacrifices of those who have served in the armed services.

"They answered when the call of duty came," Shinbur said. "It was a simple patriotic response."

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Shinbur, a Funkstown resident who commands the 74th Troop Command of the District of Columbia Army National Guard, discussed the evolving, and often forgotten, role of the 1.8 million women who have served in the U.S. military over the years.


Shinbur said it is important to keep veterans in mind, and not just on one day of the year.

"There needs to be a commitment to the principles our veterans fought for," she said, adding that a simple "thank you" can mean more than any medal.

U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md., and state Sen. Don Munson, R-Washington, were among an estimated 75 people who attended the Joint Veterans Council ceremony for the 80th annual observance of Veterans Day on Wednesday morning.

Bartlett said that as the number of World War I and World War II veterans dwindles, Veterans Day becomes even more important as a way of reminding people of the sacrifices made by members of the military.

Bartlett said the country must take better care of its veterans if the nation expects men and women to volunteer for military service in the future.

In an 11 a.m. ceremony in front of the Washington County Courthouse in Hagerstown, Mayor Bob Bruchey lamented the fact that more politicians did not take time out of their schedules to attend Veterans Day events.

"They represent the democratic process that many veterans fought and died for," Bruchey said.

Bruchey said he believed the lack of participation by elected officials is part of an overall trend away from patriotism. He said he blames his own generation, those who grew up during the Vietnam War, for the decreased interest.

About 150 people took part in the Hagerstown ceremony, with veterans and auxiliary members placing 35 wreaths in front of the war memorial plaque in front of the courthouse.

In other observances around the county, 500 students, veterans and guests participated in ceremonies at Clear Spring High School and listened to a speech by William Proctor, past commander of the Maryland State American Legion.

Antietam Post 236, American Legion, hosted an event in the Sharpsburg Town Square that featured the Boonsboro High School band and Col. David Titus, the commander of the 1108th Signal Brigade at Fort Detrick.

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