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Former POW: Veterans Day should focus on values, not wars

James Warner says 'it was a great privilege to serve the U.S. Constitution'

James Warner says 'it was a great privilege to serve the U.S. Constitution'

November 11, 2009|By BRIDGET DiCOSMO

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The ceremony honored all veterans, regardless of years served or branch of service, Taylor said.

"It's a tradition I hope we can keep up," Taylor said.

Boonsboro High School student Brian Poffenberger sang the national anthem during the ceremony.

A representative from each area veterans group participated in a wreath laying, and the Marine Corps League Color Guard from AMVETS Post 10 presented the colors.

Charles Dahlhamer of Hagerstown said he attends the event each year because, having served four years in the Army during the Korean War, he draws strength from being around fellow veterans.

"When you get into the service, it never really leaves you," Dalhamer said. "It's like a club."

Former POW James Warner told those gathered that asking someone like himself to speak implies that war stories will be told.

Warner, a Marine officer who was held captive for more than five years by North Vietnamese forces, has no shortage of such stories, but he said he believes Veterans Day should focus on values that stood behind the wars.

"My contribution wasn't much, but I can say it was a great privilege to serve the U.S. Constitution," Warner said.

Warner, of Rohrersville, called the constitution the "greatest document in defense of human liberty ever created," and said it was time for him to pass on the obligation of protecting that to someone else.

"My watch is over. My tour of duty is coming to an end," Warner said.

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