Hundreds of local veterans and current members of the U.S. military were thanked and honored at the village of Amelia’s fourth annual Salute to Heroes Ceremony.
The ceremonial celebration, which took place at the Amelia Elementary School Nov. 10, was attended by more that 75 people.
“We gather every year to recognize and salute all of the military personnel and the veterans for the sacrifices that they have made and will continue to make so that we can live in security and freedom,” said Amelia councilman Harold Walters, Jr.
The Amelia Salute to Heroes was started by Amelia Mayor Mike Scharf four years ago. Mayor Scharf, an Army veteran who served in Somalia, wanted the Salute to Heroes to be a way for the community to gather in solidarity and union to honor all veterans on this very important day.
Speaking on behalf of that immeasurable cost of freedom at the ceremony was Vietnam War veteran Earl Corell, Amelia councilman Harold Walters Jr., 88th Ohio House District Representative Colonel Danny Bubp, and 1st Sergeant Retired Ohio Army National Guard Ronald Walton.
Veteran's Day was first known as Armistice Day when the Germans called for the truce that ended WWI in Nov of 1918. The following year, 1919, President Woodrow Wilson declared that Armistice Day would be forever known as a national day of remembrance. In 1938, the U.S. Congress passed a bill that officially recognized Nov. 11 as Armistice Day. In the 1940's, President Franklin D. Roosevelt made Armistice a national holiday but it was not until 1953 that the national holiday became known as Veteran's Day.
Colonel Bubp, a 28-year Marine Corps veteran who recently announced that he had been returned to active duty in the Corps and will depart for Iraq in January 2008, said in his remarks that the number of U.S. veterans that have participated in the protection and the preservation of U.S. freedoms and liberties have now surpassed 44 million.
"We assemble here today to salute our heroes in freedom because of our veterans, both past and present, who paid a very high price," he said. "They paid that cost, they paid that price - it is our duty and our privilege to celebrate those courageous men and women who paid that cost and paid that price. They went to places that they didn't want to go and did things that they did not necessarily want to do. Let us never forget that it is because of them that we have the very blanket of freedom that we will all sleep under tonight."
Amelia's annual Salute to Heroes included a benediction by the Reverend Rick Kelley, musical performances by the Amelia Methodist Church Bell Ringers Group, the posting of colors by the Amelia Girl Scout Troop #5603, and a memorial wall depicting pictures and memorabilia of past and current veterans.