Suffolk salutes veterans

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 12, 2002

As this country moves closer to war with Iraq, more than 125 people -including about 50 school children – turned out Monday to salute those who have already fought for the United States of America.

U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Steven Maas, guest speaker at the Cedar Hill Cemetery ceremony, reminded residents to appreciate the privileges they enjoy because of sacrifices made by past generations of soldiers.

&uot;You can publicly disagree with elected officials and not fear death,&uot; Maas said. &uot;You can worship any deity that you choose.

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&uot;…We are gathering here to honor the patriotism, service and sacrifices of our veterans.&uot;

Veterans Day, initially known as Armistice Day, started on Nov. 11, 1919, one year after the ending of World War I.

In 1953, the state of Kansas renamed the holiday Veterans Day. The U.S. Congress followed suit in 1954.

&uot;Not every veteran has experienced battle,&uot; he said. &uot;But each of them has had to give up something for their service in the military – holidays at home with children, weekends home with their families.&uot;

Today, war games are different and more dangerous than ever before.

&uot;Our enemy has no face,&uot; Maas said. &uot;It doesn’t play by our rules.

&uot;But through it all, America continues to be a beacon of hope,&uot; he said.

&uot;Men and women from around the world are still fighting to come into this country.&uot;