Ted Waddell | Democrat
Jim “Beetlejuice” Keith, who served with distinction in the Vietnam War, watches the ceremony in Long Eddy.
Long Eddy remembers
By Ted Waddell
LONG EDDY On Veterans Day 2009, the local community mustered out at a small riverside hamlet to honor the nation’s legions of men and women who have over the centuries answered the country’s call to arms in defense of freedom around the world.
On the 11th hour of the11th day of the 11th month, fighting ceased in WWI, and that day was later forever engraved in history as a time to celebrate veterans, first as Armistice Day eight years after WWI ended, and then renamed Veterans Day in 1954 to include veterans from all wars and peacetime service in the defense of democracy.
“Not only do we honor wartime veterans but peacetime and cold war vets as well,” said Bruce Pecsi, commander of Alan Milk Memorial Post 7276 Long Eddy.
“From the Revolutionary War to present day Iraq, from the patriots of the New England States to the modern day soldier, Veteran’s Day is a time to never forget the men and women who are missing in action, and also the prisoners of war we will never forget them.”
The color guard consisted of five vets: Jim Keith, Jerry Murphy, Kirk McGraw, Horace DeFinis, and Verl Ringgenberg.
The 143rd NYVI rifle guard: Vietnam War veteran Sgt. Dennis W. Bernitt and privates Tyler Jon Bernitt, Kolin R. Bothun and Brett Dirie.
Betty Ringgenberg, of the Ladies Auxiliary, said the War on Terrorism has helped all Americans realize the uniqueness of our way of life.
“The freedom we enjoy is extremely special, and that is why we must defend it,” she said.
“So now is the time to not only honor those who have fought or are fighting for our freedom, it is also the time for each of us to take part in protecting it.”