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Md. veterans chief says ceremonies show appreciation

November 12, 2008

HALFWAY -- By attending Veterans Day ceremonies, citizens can thank members of the military who served and sacrificed, Fred L. Shinbur, the chairman of the Maryland Veterans Commission, said Tuesday.

Shinbur, of Funkstown, spoke at an annual ceremony held by the Washington County Joint Veterans Council at Martin L. "Marty" Snook Memorial Park in Halfway.

After the ceremony, Shinbur said he wanted to convey in his speech the importance of acknowledging the debt the United States owes to its veterans.

Shinbur, who is retired from the U.S. Army and served in Vietnam, said he remembers the fanfare over Veterans Day when he was growing up in Wyoming. Veterans "were placed above everything else," he said.

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That spirit exists some places, but not everywhere, Shinbur said.

For example, in Brunswick, Md., which recently held its 76th annual Veterans Day parade, "they really do it well," he said.

Schools should close so students can attend ceremonies and appreciate what veterans have done, Shinbur said.

-- Andrew Schotz

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