By Kellen M. Quigley
Amidst the snow flurries in the air and freezing temperatures, community members in the Springville area gathered Nov. 11 in Shuttleworth Park for annual Veterans Day ceremonies.
American Legion Commander Tom Place welcomed all to the ceremony, saying the veterans and local officials were honored the community came out despite the weather, showing their dedication.
In addition to members of the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars posts, members of the Fiddler’s Green Militia were also in attendance and at attention.
Place said regardless of what war or conflict they served in or whether they served during war or peacetime, a veteran is still a veteran.
“We’re honoring all veterans today,” he said. “We want to remember that their spirit is here, the past, the present and the future veterans. By you coming out here and continuing that, it is certainly a tribute to them.”
After the posting of colors by the American Legion Color Guard and the Pledge of Allegiance, local businessman and singer Ted Winkey lead the group in the National Anthem and Dave Carozollow, chaplain of Felton Burns VFW Post 5260, gave the opening prayer.
Clyde Drake, supervisor for the town of Concord, said while watching the snowfall over the weekend, he remembered that veterans not only have to survive through battles and conflicts with artillery fire but have to serve in all kinds of weather, including snow.
“I was reminded of the American Revolution and the Winter at Valley Forge,” he said. “I thought of the trench warfare conditions of World War I and the snowy conditions of the Battle of the Bulge in World War II.”
Drake also mentioned the mountains of Korea, the jungles of Vietnam, the deserts of Northern Africa and the Middle East. “If we shiver here for a few moments, it’s only fitting that we put into perspective what our service men and women have to go through,” he said.
From the freedoms of speech and religion to the right to bear arms and make peaceful demonstrations, Drake said there are many reasons to thank veterans for defending what makes our country great.
On the 100th anniversary of the Armistice of World War I, he said the “war to end all wars” was among the deadliest conflicts in world history.
“While the veterans that fought in that war are gone, it is our duty as Americans to make sure their valor and sacrifice are not forgotten,” Drake said.
Springville Mayor William Krebs said the recent ceremony honoring Dennis Heinz, a Springville native who was killed in action in Vietnam, perfectly captured the depth of experience of serving one’s country and couldn’t have better expressed or memorialized his sacrifice.
“After that ceremony, I came right down here (to Shuttleworth Park) and visited these monuments that pay tribute to Springville and Concord’s fallen soldiers,” he said.
Upon listening to another veteran’s story while at the park, Krebs said he realized all veterans have stories of their service and commitment to their country and they shouldn’t be forgotten.
“It’s the service to others and service to your country that counts most in our lives,” he said. “Springville will not forget, Springville is deeply appreciate and so, today, Springville honors you.”
In honor of the 100th anniversary of the Armistice of World War I, Caleb Edbauer from Boy Scout Troop 524 recited the poem “In Flanders Fields,” written during the war by Canadian physician Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae.
Following the laying of the wreath by VFW Commander Tom Schalbert and Place, the Color Guard three-volley salute and playing of Taps in honor of the fallen and the closing prayer by Chaplain Carozollo, Place closed the ceremony with a reminder of the importance of celebrating Veterans Day.
“You’re carrying on a tradition,” he said. “That veteran’s story and that veteran’s history becomes your present, and your present becomes the next generation’s future.”
Place said those traditions are what helps make America mighty, just, united and strong. “It’s our responsibility to carry that torch on, now and forever more,” he added.