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Flag unfurled for veterans’ service.
By David Leone
WAKE FOREST — Young veterans from recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq joined their compatriots who served in the Gulf, Vietnam, Korea and World War II for Veterans Day Monday.
Approximately 175 people attended the program at the Wake Forest Veterans Memorial on Heritage Club Avenue, paying tribute to the men and women who put on the uniform for their country.
After giving a short history of Veterans Day, Alan Roth, commander, Wake Forest American Legion Post 187, stated that the date of the celebration is not important — what’s important is the reason to honor veterans.
“We celebrate to honor all the men and women who have served this nation, in every war and conflict,” he said. “We celebrate and honor their commitment, their service and their sacrifice.”
Also speaking at the service was Dennis Mecum, Wake Forest Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8466 and Carolyn Coordes, General James Moore Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Roth and WWII veteran Joe DeLois presented a wreath to fallen comrades. The national anthem was sung by Lori Eitel and the colors were presented by the Wake Forest High School Junior ROTC.
A prisoners of war/missing in action dedication was presented by LuAnn Spain from the Blue Star Mothers and American Legion Riders. And American Legion Chaplain Stephen Haffly prayed for peace.
New to this year’s service, the Wake Forest Fire Department displayed from its ladder truck an enormous 20-foot by 30-foot American flag. The flag will fly only during special services, officials said.
During his remarks, Roth noted that he served for three years in the U.S. Army and attended college on the GI Bill, earning an education he would not have had access to otherwise.
“The Army gave me a whole lot more than I gave them,” he said, noting that many others gave a lot more.
Roth and the other speakers referenced those who fought hard, who struggled as prisoners of war, or who were injured or killed so others could enjoy their freedom.
“They deserve our honor today,” Roth said.
Asking veterans in the crowd to raise their hands, drawing special attention to the World War II veterans present, he added, “We are fortunate we have among us those who literally helped to save the world.”