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North Salem Veterans Day Ceremony Reflects On Unity

North Salem veterans of foreign wars flanked the podium at the town's Veterans Day ceremony Sunday. Dressed in their military uniforms, the servicemen discharged their rifles in salute to veterans everywhere.
North Salem veterans of foreign wars flanked the podium at the town's Veterans Day ceremony Sunday. Dressed in their military uniforms, the servicemen discharged their rifles in salute to veterans everywhere. Photo Credit: Liz Button
North Salem Supervisor Warren Lucas touched upon the storm and the death of the two North Salem boys in his speech.
North Salem Supervisor Warren Lucas touched upon the storm and the death of the two North Salem boys in his speech. Photo Credit: Liz Button
Town Supervisor Warren Lucas recognized the community for their compassion and unity over the past two weeks, comparing their sense of duty to that exemplified by the U.S. armed forces.
Town Supervisor Warren Lucas recognized the community for their compassion and unity over the past two weeks, comparing their sense of duty to that exemplified by the U.S. armed forces. Photo Credit: Liz Button
Local Boy Scout troops were among the attendees at North Salem's Veterans Day ceremony Sunday.
Local Boy Scout troops were among the attendees at North Salem's Veterans Day ceremony Sunday. Photo Credit: Liz Button
World War II vet Herb Geller emceed Sunday's program.
World War II vet Herb Geller emceed Sunday's program. Photo Credit: Liz Button

NORTH SALEM, N.Y.— Town Supervisor Warren Lucas asked the audience at Sunday’s Veterans Day ceremony to keep the families of the two boys who died in Hurricane Sandy in their prayers that day, as well as the soldiers who fought in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.

As North Salem recovers from the storm that caused damage and destruction throughout town, Lucas said, "Their death brings into focus the important things: not the loss of electricity or water, but the well being of every individual in our town,” Lucas said. “When something happens to one of them, it also affects all of us.”

Jack Baumler, 11, and Michael Robson, 13, died Oct. 29 during Hurricane Sandy when a large tree fell into the family room of the Baumler home on Bonnieview Street.

This all-important spirit of community, illustrated by North Salem's overwhelming participation in storm relief efforts and compassion for the two boys' families, is exactly what makes America’s armed forces so great, he said.

“America owes its veterans, who have stood in harm’s way when our liberties or the liberties of those abroad are threatened, our greatest thanks,” Lucas said. Over the last decade, he said, three out of five million of the U.S. armed forces have volunteered to serve overseas in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrrorist attacks.

Emceed by 90-year-old World War II veteran and North Salem mainstay Herb Geller, Sunday’s ceremony also commemorated the 94th year since World War I ended and the 67th anniversary of the end of World War II. Veterans Day was first established to commemorate the World War I armistice on Nov. 11, 1918, and the homecoming of all military veterans.

Service members everywhere, Geller said, have enriched the nation by way of the wartime sacrifices they made to preserve American freedom and democracy.

“Out of blood and sweat we learned a purpose, sacrifice, tolerance, bravery and peace," he said. "These are solid foundations upon which a great nation is built.”

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