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Vets remember fallen at Williamsport ceremony

November 11, 2009|By ERIN JULIUS

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He attended Wednesday morning's ceremony "to honor the men that served on my ship," Vaughn said. He was on the USS Eugene A. Greene, working as a boiler tender first class.

"The men on my ship gave their lives. It's a small thing you can do to give tribute to those who serve, now and in the past, for the defense of our country," Vaughn said.

Vaughn has written poems to honor veterans, but he didn't have any with him Wednesday.

Wayne Kiser of Williamsport served in the Army during World War II, from 1943 to 1946.

He fought at the Battle of the Bulge, where he lost a lot of friends and unit members, Kiser said.

On holidays like Veterans Day, he thinks of them, Kiser said.

The Springfield Middle School band played the national anthem, "God Bless America" and "Salute to Freedom" during Wednesday's ceremony.

In keeping with American Legion protocol, Post Commander John Reinmuth placed a POW/MIA flag on an empty chair in front of his podium. The flag is meant to symbolize all of those still missing, he said.

Reinmuth also asked that those gathered remember what he called the recent tragedy at Fort Hood, Texas.

"Our veterans are our veterans whether overseas or here," he said.

Veterans Day is not about the sales he heard advertised on the radio as he drove to the ceremony, American Legion Western Maryland District Commander Lewis Trott said.

He's afraid too many people see the holiday as "just a holiday to take a day off and not really reflect on our veterans," Trott said.

About 25 veterans, along with some family members, attended the ceremony.

Zane Young of Hagerstown spent 1959 to 1963 in the Navy. Joining was a family tradition dating back at least two generations, Young said.

He always attends a veterans ceremony to honor the sacrifice people have made, he said.

Roger Grimes of Williamsport echoed Young's desire to honor that sacrifice. He served in the Marines from 1955 to 1959 to fulfill a lifelong desire, Grimes said.

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