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Honoring our brave

'We cannot ever repay the debt we owe to veterans'

'We cannot ever repay the debt we owe to veterans'

November 12, 2007|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

HAGERSTOWN - Harry Moser says he doesn't know how to thank people like James H. Warner.

People who served bravely in the U.S. military. People who, like Warner, spent years being tortured as a prisoner of war.

Moser, of State Line, Pa., retired in 1996 from the U.S. Air Force and said that attending Sunday's Veterans Day ceremony outside the Washington County Circuit Court building in downtown Hagerstown was a start.

The ceremony was sponsored by Morris Frock Post 42 American Legion Auxiliary, which has hosted the event for 81 years.

"It's honoring the veterans and the ones who didn't make it back," he said. "I don't know how you give back to these people."

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Warner, who lives in Rohrersville, served in the Vietnam War for six years as a member of the Marine Corps. He spent more than five of those as a prisoner of war, where he said he sometimes endured daily torture. Warner spoke during Sunday's ceremony.

"We cannot ever repay the debt we owe to veterans," said Warner, who also served as domestic policy adviser to former President Ronald Reagan during his second term.

About 100 people attended the ceremony, including representatives from many area veterans associations. About 30 wreaths were placed to honor military veterans.

Though he served for four years in the U.S. Air Force and 34 years in the reserves, Moser said the Sunday event was the first he has attended for Veterans Day. Moser is a member of American Legion Post No. 42.

"I finally decided the time was right," he said. "This will not be my last."

Betty DeLauter, with Morris Frock Unit No. 42 American Legion Auxiliary, said the service is a way to honor veterans who served their country.

"It's important to honor them," she said, "because a lot of them have given their lives for us. They gave us our freedom."

Hagerstown Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II said Veterans Day was a time to reflect on what veterans have given to their country. Councilmen Martin E. Brubaker and Lewis C. Metzner also attended the ceremony.

Representatives of Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., and Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., also attended.

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