TROY — Veterans of all ages, as well as those departed or missing in action, were honored during a special Veterans Day ceremony on Sunday, held at 11 a.m. in Riverside Cemetery.
Following an invocation delivered by Robert Speck of VFW Post 5436, honor guard member Ron Pennybacker presented the “Fallen Soldier’s Table,” with brief descriptions of each of the table’s elements and their significance.
“The single rose in the vase signifies the blood they may have shed in sacrifice to ensure the freedom of our beloved United States of America,” Pennybacker said. “This rose also reminds us of the family and friends of our missing comrades who keep faith while awaiting their return.”
Those present observed the Pledge of Allegiance and the national anthem, then received an address by Mayor Mike Beamish.
Beamish noted the importance of this year’s Veterans Day, which marks the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.
“We stand before this beautiful memorial dedicated to the men and women that have served in the past, serve currently, and will serve in the future,” Beamish said. “Ever since the armistice that took place on November 11, 1918, this has been a day that we remember all the veterans who have served this great country of ours. Freedom and democracy are a direct result of the veterans who have served this great country, and each of you has made a wonderful nation by serving in some capacity of our armed forces.”
The keynote speaker at the event was Troy resident Mick DeHart, who was the recent recipient of the Distinguished Service cross for his service in the United States Army during the war in Vietnam.
“We have a mission as veterans to no longer allow others to define us,” DeHart exclaimed. “I came home from Vietnam in 1969. I kept my service a secret for 35 years, because I allowed others to define me and my part in the military. We no longer should allow ourselves as veterans to be written off as relics or damaged goods — the strength of this nation is now, and always has been, its soldiers. Veterans built this nation, shaped its territories, and protected it for 242 years.”
A laying of the wreath took place at the memorial facing Riverside Drive, which was accompanied by a 21-gun salute, performed by the Veterans Memorial Honor Guard.
A vigil was also held at Old Soldier’s Circle, including an invocation, wreath-laying, and a 21-gun salute by Veterans Memorial Honor Guard Members.