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Ceremony says 'thanks' to vets

November 13, 2007|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

SHARPSBURG - John DiCarlo says he doesn't see a lot of young men and women at area Veterans Day celebrations.

DiCarlo, who served in World War II and the Korean War, said those who returned from military service in Vietnam were not as interested in the commemorative events.

Only a handful of veterans who fought in Iraq attended Monday's Veterans Day service in Sharpsburg.

One of them, U.S. Congress hopeful Andrew Duck, agreed, saying that a lot of younger veterans do not attend.

Monday's event was organized by Antietam Unit No. 236 of the American Legion Auxiliary. The unit's president, Ava Gift, who lives in Keedysville, said the group has hosted the event for about five years. Officials said Sharpsburg has had a Veterans Day program for much longer.

"I don't think we can honor the veterans enough," Gift said. "They protect us and keep us free. We have such a debt to pay to them."

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Gift encouraged the more than 50 people gathered in Sharpsburg's town square for the ceremony to say "thank you" to a veteran for his or her service to the country.

Ronald Hovis, a U.S. Navy veteran, said those two words can mean more to veterans than any medals or awards they received for their military service.

Gift said words will never be enough, though.

Duck agreed, saying that veterans should be supported with good health care and other services. He served 20 years in the U.S. Army before retiring in 2004. Duck said he had three deployments to Bosnia and served in Iraq in 2003.

Nine wreaths were presented during the event to honor those who died in military service.

"On Veterans Day, our nation pays tribute to those who have proudly served their country," said Antietam National Battlefield Park Ranger Keith Snyder.

He said their sacrifice should be remembered.

DiCarlo, a member of Sharpsburg's American Legion Post No. 236, said he attends the Veterans Day event each year. He served in the U.S. Army from 1946 to 1952.

"I feel like we should be together. We all served together," he said. "I think about all the guys I served with and what we did."




Wreath presentations



The following groups presented wreaths during the Veterans Day service Monday in Sharpsburg:

· Antietam National Battlefield

· Washington County Sheriff Douglas Mullendore on behalf of the citizens of Washington County

· Washington County AMVETS Post No. 10

· Sharpsburg Mayor Hal Spielman on behalf of the town

· Marine Corps League

· Antietam Lodge No. 197

· American Legion Post No. 236

· Squadron No. 236 of the Sons of the American Legion

· Antietam Unit No. 236 of the American Legion Auxiliary

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