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Celebrating Veterans Day and 100 Years since end of World War I

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By Kellen M. Quigley

This Nov. 11 will be remembered not only as a day to honor American armed service members but as the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.

Following the end what was called at the time the “war to end all wars” and the Allied nations’ victory over the Central Powers, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Nov. 11 as the first Armistice Day in 1919 with the following words:

“To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism

of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations.”

The original concept for the celebration was for a day observed with parades and public meetings and a brief suspension of business beginning at 11 a.m.

In November of 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued the first “Veterans Day

Proclamation” in order to ensure proper and widespread observance of this anniversary.

Veterans Day continues to be observed on Nov. 11, not only preserving the historical significance of the date, but helping focus attention on the important purpose of Veterans Day: a celebration to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism and willingness to serve for the common good.

In Springville, traditional Veterans Day ceremonies will be held Sunday, Nov. 11, beginning at 11 a.m. in Shuttleworth Park. All are welcome to attend.

Other area Veterans Day observances this week include:

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 10

Gowanda: 5:30 p.m. — Veterans Day Dinner at American Legion

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 11

Cattaraugus: Noon — Open House at Cattaraugus Area Museum

Ellicottville: 11 a.m. — Service at Courthouse

Little Valley: 11 a.m. — Service at Little Valley Cemetery

Randolph: 11 a.m. — Service at Triangle Park

Salamanca: 11 a.m. — Service outside American Legion and VFW posts

While you’re out this weekend at your local Veterans Day remembrance ceremony, plan some extra time to visit some of the many historical markers honoring veterans in the county. The information below is compiled from the Historical Marker Database at hmdb.org.

Boston

The Viet Nam War marker is located at the intersection of Boston State Road (Route 227) and Boston Cross Road (Route 190). The inscription reads, “A war that produced no famous victories, no national heroes, and no stirring patriotic songs. American vainly attempted to support a weak government in its civil fight against Communism. We remember Boston’s military men who fought bravely.”

The World War I marker is located at the intersection of Boston State Road (Route 227) and Boston Cross Road (Route 190) and was erected in 1939 by the Boston Veterans’ Club. The marker lists the names of the veterans who returned to town after the war adn those who settled in Boston shortly after.

The World War II marker is located at the intersection of Boston State Road (Route 227) and Boston Cross Road (Route 190). It’s inscription reads, “Dediacted to the Honor and sacrifice of our men and women who served our country in World War II. Let none forget they gave their all when came to call.”

Colden

The Colden Veterans Memorial is located near 8812 NY-240 and was dedicated by the Town of Colden “in honor of our men and women who served our country in search of world peace adn human dignity and in memory of those in all wars who gave their lives for freedom. The Town of Colden honors our Men & Women Living and Deceased, who served our country. Thank You for your dedication to defending our freedoms.”

Concord

The Erie County Iraq & Afghanistan Memorial is located in Sprague Brook Park on Foote Road (County Road 563). The inscription reads, “As we honor the memory of these Erie county residents killed in action, let us pledge that their lives, sacrifices adn valor shall always be remembered.”

The Erie County Vietnam Memorial is located in Sprague Brook Park on Foote Road (County Road 563). The inscription reads, “We remember forever with the names etched here the citizens of Erie County who, in service to the United States of America, were killed in Vietnam or designated as missing in action (MIA) 1959 to 1975.”

The Veterans Memorial Grove was erected by Vietnam Veterans Leadership Program and is loacted in Sprague Brook Park on Foote Road (County Road 563). The inscription reads, “We loved them once. We love them now. Dedicated to: Who they were, what they sacrificed adn how much they loved each other.”

Ellicottville

In Memory of Those From Ellicottville — Located at the intersection of Jefferson Street and West Washington Street (New York State Route 242) on Jefferson Street. Erected in 1950 by Ellicottville Memorial American Legion Post No. 65. In Memory of Those from Ellicottville who served in World War I and World War II. On the back of the monument, there’s a bronze plaque honoring veterans of all the 20th-century wars.

Franklinville

Franklinville Veterans Memorial — Located at the intersection of Park Square and Chestnut Street, on the right when traveling east on Park Square. In memory of those who died in the service of their country in World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam and in 1960. The plaque was donated by the Ischua Valley Exchange Club in 2006.

Great Valley

In Honor and Memory — Located at the intersection of Humphrey Road (County Route 18) and Salamanca Sugartown Road (New York State Route 98), on the left when traveling south on Humphrey Road. In honor and memory of the men and women of this township who answered the call of their country.

North Collins

The North Collins Veterans Memorial is located on Gowanda State Road (Route 62) south of Spruce Street. It was erected in 2004 by the Town and Village of North Collins “in Grateful Appreciation to all the men and women of the village and town of North Collins who served in the armed forces for teh preservation of freedom and democracy.”

Salamanca

In Memory of Our Dead Comrades — Located on Lindwood Avenue off of Wildwood Avenue, the marker is at the front of Wildwood Cemetery.

Outside of Veterans Memorial Park on Broad Street are two memorial markers:

Dedicated to those from the Salamanca area — “Dedicated to those from the Salamanca area who gave their lives in the Indo-China War. Also to all other people from all nations who have died there 1961–1973.”

From the Mountains fo Afghanistan — “From the mountains of Afghanistan and deserts of Iraq these men and women gave devotion and sacrifice. They are worthy of much greater recognition than words can say. Let us pay tribute to the heroism of those who served and those who gave all. We are forever grateful.”

Springville

The Operation Enduring Freedom marker honoring those who served in Afghanistan war is located in Shuttleworth Park. The inscription reads, “Brian Baker. Dedicated to those who have proudly served and to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.”

The Our Honored Dead Memorial is located at the center of Fiddlers Green Park and was erected by David S. Ingalls in memory of the defenders of our country 1861–1865. The inscription reads, “By valor and sacrifice, through unmeasured suffering and death, they preserved the honor and integrity of the nation and maintained the principle of free government in America. Nor for themselves, but for their country.”

The Korean War marker, dedicated in 1987, is loacted in Shuttleworth Park in memory of Edward F. Mathewson, Joseph Benson and James Wolf.

The Vietnam Marker is loacted in Shuttleworth Park and is dedicated to the memory of Barry A. Bidwell, John Ellis, Bruce A. Crosby Jr. and Dennis R. Heinz, who have their lives in defense of freedom in the Vietnam War.

The World War II marker is located in Shuttleworth Park. The inscription reads, “Ever protect the freedoms for which they fought.”

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