As daylight dims earlier and autumn’s rich hues paint our landscape, thoughts turn to holidays ahead. However, for our deployed soldiers anticipation is tinged with loneliness and painful longing for their families. For our combat veterans, holiday joys are marred by memories of war. Their sacrifices must not be forgotten. Nor must we allow ourselves to forget the agony of our injured, the suffering endured by our POWs, and the grief of our Gold Star families.

Please mark your calendar to attend Lockport’s annual Veterans Day Ceremony on Monday, November 11th in Outwater Park. Sponsored by B. Leo Dolan Post 410 American Legion, the 11 a.m. gathering serves as a moving and graphic reminder that “Freedom is not free.” Join us to honor the generations of Americans who have sacrificed so much in freedom’s cause. The ceremony includes Dolan Post’s award winning Color Guard, a gun salute by the Lockport Devil Dog Detachment Marine Corps League, and the haunting melody of “Taps.”

Unique to our local ceremony is an intergenerational recitation of war poetry by Lockport school children, in response to a reading of “In Flanders Fields” by members of the Barge Canal Optimist Club and other adult community volunteers. This year marks the 29th anniversary of Lockport’s nationally recognized tradition!

Whatever your plans for November 11th, please fly Old Glory, thank every veteran you meet, and pause to reflect on the terrible price each paid to protect the precious freedoms we all enjoy.

Renee A. Knight is chairman of the Partnership in Patriotism Coalition, whose members include American Legion-B. Leo Dolan Post 410, Barge Canal Optimist Club, Lockport City School District, the Union-Sun & Journal, the City of Lockport, the Town of Lockport and Lockport Lodge 41, Benevolent & Protective Order of the Elks.


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