PLATTSBURGH — Crowds gathered around the flagpole at Clinton Community College Monday to honor those who have fought to keep America the land of the free.
Hosted by the college’s Veterans Club, the annual Veterans Day ceremony served to remind attendees of the countless men and women in uniform who have served the country since its conception.
“We remember today our veterans, those who are with us physically and those who are with us only in spirit,” said keynote speaker Thomas Middleton, an Iraq War veteran and alumnus of Clinton Community.
Perhaps one of the best ways to pay tribute to military veterans, Middleton noted, is to ensure their sacrifices will never be in vain.
”We remember the fallen, but we remember also what it is that they stood for: selfless sacrifice to others above self, placing the needs of our nation above their own interests and above even the interests of their own family members,” he said.
TRIBUTE TO VENNE
During the program, veteran Jimmy Duvall, who is also a student at Clinton Community and member of the Veterans Club, asked that a moment of silence be observed for Staff Sgt. Dain T. Venne of Port Henry and Specialists Brett E. Gornewicz of Alden and Ryan P. Jayne of Campbell.
The three New York National Guard soldiers were killed by an improvised explosive device on Nov. 3 while conducting operations in Afghanistan.
Venne’s funeral will take place in Port Henry today.
Middleton also acknowledged the veterans of previous wars “who have come forward to make sure that no veteran comes home the way they did from Vietnam,” as well as prisoners of war and those missing in action.
“Hopefully, we’ll be reunited with those with whom we once served in the next life,” he said.
PRAYERS FOR PEACE