- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Whether it was in the form of a ceremony, a parade or a simple thank-you, residents of Charles County remembered veterans Sunday.
The purpose of Veterans Day and Veterans Day celebrations like the ceremony held at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8810 in Waldorf, according to Vietnam veteran Ronald Teufel, is that “it honors current vets and honors past veterans like my father.”
Teufel said his father is a World War II veteran and that his father’s time with the Army Air Corps played an important role in him growing up and joining the U.S. Air Force.
About 40 people attended the ceremony.
Richard Bamberger, commander of Post 8810, said the Post recently had finished its memorial wall, which is dedicated to the Post’s “deceased comrades,” and was the center point for the morning ceremony.
A wreath was placed in front of the wall, and along with a few speeches and prayers, the Post honored veterans with a rifle salute and the playing of taps.
Vietnam veteran Ken Lake of Waldorf said after the ceremony that if he could say one thing about Veterans Day, it would be that he was glad to finally see the country “welcoming vets home.”
Lake said “that’s more than we got when we came home,” recalling soldiers, himself included, getting a not-so-warm welcome from civilians when returning from Vietnam.
Lake said veterans are celebrities.
“We go out and do the job nobody else wants to do,” he said.
Bamberger said Charles County does its part in honoring and supporting veterans all the time, especially on Veterans Day, with special events and local businesses having special discounts.
Being close to four military bases, Bamberger said, many Charles County residents are retired from the military.
He said Charles County does a great job in supporting its veterans.
Post 8810 has 325 members who have all experienced combat. Bamberger said the post has members who are veterans of World War II all the way up to Afghanistan.
“We are one big family,” he said.
In La Plata, hundreds of community members showed appreciation for veterans with a parade through town.
Vietnam veteran Bob Boyce of La Plata said he tries to attend the parade each year because there are always a lot of organizations involved, such as local law enforcement, Scout groups and schools.
“I’m glad to see a good turnout,” he said of the parade Sunday.
Charles County public schools held special events and activities throughout the week as each school recognized American Freedom week.
The weekend marked a time to remember and honor those who served and who are serving in the armed forces. For those who are currently serving, Post 8810 Ladies Auxiliary President Trisha Chilton said, “We want our men and women to come home safe.”