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Community invited to Veterans Day honor service

At precisely 11 a.m. on November 11, the courthouse lawn will reverberate with the sound of rifle volleys and the revered bugle call that signals both “lights out” for a military day and respect and honor for military ceremonies.

Members of the public are invited to join American Legion Post 45 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4311 in marking Veterans Day this year with a service at the war memorial in Sundance.

This will be followed by a lunch and social time at the Sundance Senior Center.

The service will begin at 10:30 a.m.

“The three things that we want to present to the public are songs, including The Star-spangled Banner, we’re going to talk about Flanders Field and then a brief discussion of Armistice Day versus Veterans Day,” says Phil Colozzi, Interim Commander of Post 45.

The latter of these will focus on the origins of Veterans Day, which began as a commemoration of the armistice that was declared between the Allied nations and Germany in World War I on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, 1918.

“It finally went to all vets, regardless of war fought, as Veterans Day,” Colozzi says.

In Flanders Fields is meanwhile a 1915 poem by John McCrae and the inspiration for the red poppies sold to raise money for veterans and worn in the lapel as a tribute.

The mc for the event will be John Costello. On display during the event will be a 1941 Dodge military arms carrier, restored to original condition.

A trailer will also be in place for the Honor Guard, who at 11 a.m. precisely will lower the flag and perform the rifle salute and Taps.

Following this, guests are invited to head to the Sundance Senior Center for lunch, including dishes such as spaghetti and beef stew, and time to visit with local veterans and learn more about the posts and the ceremonial aspects of Veterans Day.

For example, a P.O.W./MIA table (otherwise known as a Missing Man Table) will be located in a place of honor. This table holds symbolic items, such as a yellow ribbon for continued uncertainty, a slice of lemon to represent their bitter fate, a pinch of salt for the tears of the missing and their families and a lighted candle to represent hope for their return.

Members of the public will see the table as they arrive at the senior center and are welcomed to ask more about these and the additional items on the table and the meanings of each of them.

Two frames will accompany these items, including one that tells the tale of the 89,000 missing from each of America’s major wars and an original flag with 48 stars that was given to Colozzi by a paratrooper who kept it with him during World War II.

Also on display will be the original charter for Post 45, which was dedicated on April 10, 1921 by 15 members, including Thos H. Nicholas, Lorin T. Oldroyd, Roger D. Thomas, Lee McWethy, Harold Baldwin, James H. Bowers, Ralph Cole, Charles E. Clingan, Jr., Floyd Hawken, Fred Good (post commander), Harold Fawkes, Charles R. Yeoman, Maurice G. Moore and Elmer Frank.

If the weather is too cold for you to be able to attend the outdoor portion of the ceremony, says Colozzi, you are still invited to the senior center for the lunch and social portion of the event. The senior center will open for guests at 11 a.m.

In the case of extreme weather, only the Honor Guard portion of the ceremony will take place, at 11 a.m.