HON­OR­ING VETS

Veterans Day: Com­mu­nity turns out in sup­port of veterans

The Oneida Daily Dispatch (Oneida, NY) - - Front Page - By Charles Pritchard cpritchard@onei­dadis­patch.com

Res­i­dents through­out the re­gion took time on Satur­day to honor those who have served their coun­try.

At the Madi­son County War Veterans Com­mit­tee cer­e­mony in Wampsville, Gary Ford, a re­tired teacher who taught Amer­i­can history at Rome Free Academy for more than 33 years, and who was cho­sen three times as “Most In­flu­en­tial Ed­u­ca­tor,” spoke about the role veterans play in Amer­i­can so­ci­ety.

“It is the vet­eran, not the preacher who gives us the free­dom of reli­gion,” Ford said. “It is the vet­eran, not the re­porter who gives us free­dom of speech. It is the vet­eran, not the poet who gives us free­dom of ex­pres­sion.”

He also re­counted tales of veterans he’d of­ten tell his classes. In par­tic­u­lar, he spoke of Jerry Schil­low and Earl Brooks, who both served dur­ing World War II.

Schil­low fought the Ja­panese in the South Pa­cific, served aboard the Queen Mary and out ran a Ger­man U-Boat off the coast of South Amer­ica, Ford re­counted.

Brooks was some­one who couldn’t stand the noise of the ar­tillery guns and de­cided to join the in­fantry, only to sin­gle hand­edly take out five Ger­man ma­chine guns and earn the Sil­ver Star, Ford ex­plained.

Ford said he was proud of his stu­dents, be­cause when the bell rang, they didn’t run off. “They mobbed the man,” Ford said when the chil­dren

met Schil­low. “They rec­og­nized a real hero.”

When talk­ing to Ford after the class all those years ago, Schil­low said, “I have to do this. I have to speak for those who no longer can.”

Stu­dents also took the time to speak, with Otto Short­ell Mid­dle School stu­dents Joey Sayles and Han­nah Jef­fery dis­cussing the im­por­tance of vot­ing.

In Canas­tota, mem­bers of the Charles Miller Post 140 Amer­i­can Le­gion took part in the time-hon­ored tra­di­tion of re­tir­ing the flag.

“Aflag­may be a flimsy bit of printed gauze, or a beau- ti­ful ban­ner of finest silk. Its in­trin­sic value may be tri­fling or great, but the real value is beyond price,” Com­man­der Frank Gar­lock said. “For it is a pre­vi­ous sym­bol of all that we and our com­rades have worked and lived for, and died for - a free na­tion of free men and women, true to the faith of the past, de­voted to the ideals and prac­tice of jus­tice, free­dom and democ­racy.”

CHARLES PRITCHARD - ONEIDA DAILY DISPATCH

Mem­bers of the Canas­tota Amer­i­can Le­gion pre­pare to start the cer­e­mony and re­tire a num­ber of flags on Nov. 112017.

CHARLES PRITCHARD - ONEIDA DAILY DISPATCH

A mem­ber of the Canas­tota Amer­i­can Le­gion walks by the pile of flags be­ing re­tired on Nov. 112017.

CHARLES PRITCHARD - ONEIDA DAILY DISPATCH

Han­nah Jef­fery, 6th Grade, at Otto Short­ell Mid­dle School smiles from ap­plause after read­ing her es­say on Nov. 112017

CHARLES PRITCHARD - ONEIDA DAILY DISPATCH

Joey Sayles 6th Grade, at Otto Short­ell Mid­dle School reads his es­say to the crowd on Nov. 112017

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