At the Memorial Lot in Northampton, veterans and members of the community gathered together on Sunday, Nov. 10 to honor those who served our country. Larry Schlittler, the commander of Post 4714 Veterans of Foreign Wars in Northampton, started the address to the crowd by thanking everyone for joining them as they recognize veterans for their unwavering service to America.
“Across this great nation and throughout the world, Americans will pause on Veterans Day,” Schlittler said, “To honor our brave fighting men and women who have underwritten our freedom by their duty, honor and selfless service. We recognize that all veterans have given something of themselves for this country. Some have given all, laying down their lives to defend the freedom we hold so dear. This afternoon as we reflect our blessings of liberty, we ask our heavenly father that we remain faithful stewards of freedom that we have been granted.”
After receiving a benediction from the Catholic War Veterans Chaplain, veterans shared words and poems about Veterans Day.
A bell was rung 11 times, not only for veterans but also as a reminder of the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month, which marked the end of World War 1. It was originally known as Armistice Day, later changed to Veterans Day in 1953 to recognize all veterans.
A 21-gun salute was fired by the Veteran Rifle Detail, then a playing of “Taps” followed by “Amazing Grace” on the bagpipes.
The event concluded with Schlittler’s closing remarks.
“It is the veteran, not the preacher that has given us freedom of religion,” Schlittler said. “It is the veteran, not the reporter that has given us freedom of the press. It is the veteran, not the poet that has given us freedom of speech. It is the veteran, not the campus organizer that has given us the freedom of assembly. It is the veteran, not the lawyer that has given us the right to a fair trial. It is the veteran, not the politician that has given us the right to vote. It is the veteran who salutes the flag, it is the veteran who serves under the flag and to be buried by the flag.”
Schlittler also told the crowd that the Memorial Lot would have a few additions come Memorial Day. The howitzer that was at the VFW Post at 1204 Main St. will be on display, as well as the bell that was rung for this ceremony.