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Antietam Unit 236 hosts Veterans Day ceremony

November 14, 2008

SHARPSBURG -- Antietam Unit 236 of the American Legion Auxiliary on Tuesday hosted a Veterans Day ceremony in the Sharpsburg Town Square.

Members of the Honor Guard from the 167th Airlift Wing from the West Virginia Air National Guard began the service with the presentation of colors.

Junior Unit Member Miss Poppy Julia Snyder then led the Pledge of Allegiance followed by Unit member soloist Carmen Griffith singing the "The Star-Spangled Banner."

Upon retirement of colors by the Honor Guard, Unit Chaplain AnnaLee Burker offered the invocation. Park Ranger Keith Snyder of Antietam National Battlefield gave a talk on the history of Veterans Day. Emcee for the day, Americanism Chairperson Ava Gift, invited all veterans in attendance to gather in a line and the Boonsboro High School chorus, under the direction of Paula Boyd, sang "The Armed Forces Salute" as the veterans stepped forward as their service song was sung, receiving applause by those in attendance.

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Keynote speaker the Rev. Mark Michael of St. Paul's Episcopal Church told the story of the Four Chaplains. Ava then asked those gathered to remember all veterans - those who have served, those who have gone before, the POW/MIAs who are still not home and those who are serving the country today.

She then recognized in the crowd a hero in her own right, Gold Star Mother Whylemenia Knight, whose son Orville Knight was killed in Vietnam. Memorial wreaths were placed near the Veterans Memorials by several groups. The 167th Airlift Wing Honor Guard fired the rifle salute, which was followed by the playing of taps. The program concluded with the benediction by the Unit chaplain.

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