Sunday, November 12, 2006

Veterans Day Observed

A small group of residents turned out at the War Memorial Saturday (Nov. 11, 2006) to honor veterans.

Speakers included Vietnam War veteran Frank C. Rivers Sr., who named many city families whose members served in past wars. Rivers, Union County District 5 Commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and Past Union County Commander of American Legion Post 219, said the task ahead is to honor those who served in Iraq.

“We have to open our arms and our organizations to these children when they come home in pieces,” he said.

Charles Coston spoke of his 21 months of deprivation and punishment as a prisoner of war in the Korean Conflict. He said he vowed to himself to survive and go back home. The highly decorated veteran said the medal he treasures the most is New Jersey’s P.O.W. medal, noting the state was the first to recognize Korean prisoners of war.

Tuskegee Airman Odell McLeod recalled discrimination.

“The United States government at that time didn’t think the black man could fly.”

But he said, “Our minds were made up that we could do the job.”

Still, when he got home, he said, early promises of jobs in aeronautics proved false.

World War II veteran Marshall Corsey also spoke before all present observed a moment of silence for those who gave their lives for their country.

The service was led by Homer Harris, Commander of VFW Memorial Post 7474 and Lisa S. Dixon, Past Commander of American Legion Post 219.


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