Every year on November 11, we as a country celebrate Veterans Day, which is a day to honor and show respect for everyone who ever wore a uniform in service to the United States. 

Just as every person has different experiences, we respect the contributions and sacrifices that every service member made while in service to our country. 

We are preparing for our annual Veterans Day programs in our small New England town and it is always a busy, but enjoyable, time of the year for our local veterans. Our members from the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), the American Legion and our local Veterans Council will be visiting all of the local schools as they put on programs and ceremonies that honor all of our services and servicemembers.  

The schools and the children here always put a lot of time and effort into the programs; and it shows. For the veterans, it is a time to educate: There is still some confusion among the citizens as to the difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day. But that is part of the reason for doing this. 

And during the question and answer section, which is always a part of the program, the students in town will get to hear about all of the different experiences of our veteran citizens. We have veterans from World War II, the Korean Conflict, the Cold War and the modern Global War on Terror. 

Later, we make the trek over to our local nursing home where we’ll ensure that the veterans who are staying there, and there are more and more, aren’t forgotten on that day. And on the 11th, we’ll be gathering, with members of our Board of Selectmen and other town officials, at two monuments in the middle of town to rededicate them. 

There are several corners and intersections in town that were dedicated to the men that made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Due to the recent construction of a state highway that passed through the town and the upgrade of the bridge and roundabout that connects it, the state had to move two of them, which commemorated two World War II heroes, until construction was completed. Now that construction is over, the monuments have been moved back to their former locations. And we will take part, with our town officials, in rededicating them and rehonoring these two World War II heroes that died, far too young, in battlefields that many at home would be hard-pressed to find on a map. 

In looking at the bios of the men commemorated on the monuments, one has to wonder what their lives were like when they were called to serve. Our town and world were very different places than what they are today. WWII was a tremendously large conflict that enveloped our nation, and one in which millions were called to serve. One of my two townsmen was killed in action in Europe and the other was killed in the Cebu Islands. We are currently trying to contact any next of kin to see if they’d like to take part in the rededication ceremonies.