'Our freedom will never be free'

Milford gathers to pay homage to the nation's veterans

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  • Everyone fell silent at the playing of Taps (Photo by Frances Ruth Harris)

  • County Commissioner Matt Osterberg (left) gathered with veterans at Soldiers and Sailors Monument (Photo by Frances Ruth Harris)

  • The Color Guard (Photo by Frances Ruth Harris)

  • Many war veterans attended the ceremony in Milford (Photo by Frances Ruth Harris)

  • Emma, one of the many four legged creatures to attend, hasn’t missed a Veterans Day ceremony at Soldiers and Sailors monument in many years (Photo by Frances Ruth Harris)

  • District Attorney Ray Tonkin with veterans (Photo by Frances Ruth Harris)

  • This couple attending the ceremony has been married for 54 years (Photo by Frances Ruth Harris)

  • Commander Gregory Protsko of VFW Post 8612 gave the keynote speech (Photo by Frances Ruth Harris)

  • Veterans Day at Soldier and Sailors monument (Photo by Frances Ruth Harris)

  • Neil Frazer, Barbara Meyer, Christine Protsko, and Terri Koch served a delicious breakfast (Photo by Frances Ruth Harris)

  • Jude Leduc, her grandson Landon, and Lorraine Gregory (Photo by Frances Ruth Harris)

  • Robert Gallagher (Photo by Frances Ruth Harris)

  • Bob Uhlman Sr., longtime vice-commander of VFW Post 8612 (Photo by Frances Ruth Harris)

  • Joseph Resteghini, Army veteran of the Korean War (Photo by Frances Ruth Harris)

  • Aaron Capponi (left) and George Savastides (Photo by Frances Ruth Harris)

  • Joanne Vetsch, district auxiliary president for Wayne and Pike Counties (Photo by Frances Ruth Harris)

  • Veterans, their families, and members of the community enjoyed breakfast together before the ceremony at Soldiers and Sailors Monument (Photo by Frances Ruth Harris)

  • Veteran Nick Sansevero and his son Dominic (Photo by Frances Ruth Harris)

By Frances Ruth Harris

— Commander Gregory Protsko of VFW Post 8612 reminded the gathering of the watershed moment that gave rise to the national holiday of Veterans Day.

Exactly 100 years before, on Nov. 11, 1918, World War I, known as "The Great War," came to an end.

Protsko spoke Sunday of "all who have set aside their personal pursuits and answered our great nation’s call" in the Great War and many other conflicts.

"From the jungles of Vietnam to the rocky steeps of Afghanistan, from Pork Chop Hill to the Persian Gulf, and from Bastogne to Baghdad, gallant Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen have borne the cost of America’s wars — and continue to stand watch over America’s peace," he said. "For every single man and woman who has donned a U.S. military uniform, by virtue of their service and sacrifice, today is their day to stand tall and be recognized by a grateful nation."

Many local residents gathered at the Soldiers and Sailors monument in Milford to pause in gratitude for the sacrifice of America's veterans. The day began with hardy breakfast at the VFW Post 8612 in Milford. The group then surged to the Soldiers and Sailors monument for the solemn ceremony.

Chaplin Joseph Ryder delivered the opening prayer. All participating veterans' groups — VFW Post 8612, American Legion Post 139, USMC Lodge 909, and Vietnam Veterans of America Post 623 — presented a wreath.

The sounding of Taps and the Salute to Colors followed. Chaplain John Kupillas gave the closing prayer.

"Our freedom will never be free, and it is our veterans who have sacrificed and paid the highest price for all of us," Commander Protsko said.

For his complete remarks, please click here.

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