A salute to veterans

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 12, 2004

Suffolk News-Herald

As the red, white and blue flew overhead and the sound of &uot;Taps&uot; filled the air Thursday, more than 100 veterans, community members and school children in Suffolk honored generations of American soldiers who fought for this country.

&uot;You have made our country great,&uot; said Capt. Thomas L. VanPetten, the guest speaker at the Veteran’s Day Ceremony at Cedar Hill Cemetery. &uot;You proved that time and again, when you wore that uniform. Today, you are the real heroes.&uot;

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VanPetten oversees operations at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth. The ceremony on Thursday was sponsored by American Legion Post 57 and VFW Post 2582.

Meanwhile, future generations of American veterans on the other side of the world were carving their own heroic place in this country’s history. Even as VanPetten was speaking, U.S. warplanes and troops continued to battle to gain a military stronghold in Fallujah, west of Baghdad.

&uot;We are fighting terrorists in Iraq who are afraid to face us on a field of battle,&uot; he said. &uot;We are fighting people who think nothing of killing innocent people.

&uot;They are misguided cowards who don’t know the meaning of liberty.&uot;

VanPetten said veterans should record their rich military experiences.

&uot;Your stories of sacrifice need to be heard,&uot; he said. &uot;I urge you to share your stories with your children and grandchildren..

&uot;Future generations can draw from your history.&uot;