Large crowd attends Warwick's Veterans Day ceremony

| 15 Feb 2012 | 10:15

WARWICK — As tradition dictates, the 2011 Veterans Day ceremonies in Warwick’s Veterans Memorial Park began on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the official time of the World War I armistice. More than 300 local citizens came out to honor our veterans. The beautiful weather may have contributed to the large turn out, equal to or better than last year, but by most accounts it was again thanks to the work of members of the Boy and Girl Scouts along with their junior components, scout leaders and parents. VFW Post 4662 Commander Gordon “Buddy” Cooke opened the official ceremony. He explained that it was in 1918, after a long and bloody struggle, when the Armistice was signed ending the hostilities and that what was celebrated each year as “Armistice Day” was, in 1954, renamed “Veterans Day.” Cooke, a veteran of the War in Iraq, then voiced an appeal that the government not abandon the needs of returning veterans. 'My brother’ Following an invocation given by American Legion Post 214 Chaplain Robert Ritzer, Cooke introduced guest speakers including Warwick Town Supervisor Michael Sweeton, Mayor Michael Newhard, Warwick Town Justice Peter Barlet and American Legion Post 214 Past Commander Walter Parkinson. He explained the origin of the term, “Band of Brothers,” often used to describe our veterans. Parkinson quoted from Shakespeare’s play, King Henry V, and Henry’s soliloquy before the Battle of Agincourt: “We few, we happy few, we band of brothers: For he today that sheds his blood with me, shall be my brother.” During his remarks Newhard reported that the previous night he had attended the Orange County Art’s Council’s Annual Arts Awards. Warwick residents won an impressive four awards that night including one presented to Robert Fletcher, author of, “Remembrance, a Tribute to America’s Veterans.” VFW Post 4662 Chaplain Clayton Eurich closed the ceremony with a prayer followed by the traditional salute during the playing of taps. If you had the world on a string, then who pulled the ripcord? You plummeted through enemy frigid airspace, landing In cold, black muck. The fen permitted cover in November damp farm, Ravaged by soldiers needing bread, water, meat and warm female stories.” A poem written by Village of Florida poet Robert Milby and read by Warwick Mayor Michael Newhard at Veterans Day ceremonies last Friday.