Ted Waddell | Democrat
JIM KEITH, MEMBER of the 1st Cavalry in the Vietnam War and winner of the Purple Heart and Bronze Star.
Long Eddy remembers
By Ted Waddell
LONG EDDY The little community of Long Eddy may be short on population, but it’s long on patriotism, as every day set aside to honor the nation’s military draws a crowd.
Veterans Day 2008 was no exception as scores of vets and their families turned out to pay homage to the anniversary of the Armistice which was signed in Forest of Compiegne by the Allies and Germans on November 11, 1918, thus ending WWI in the wake of four years of bloody combat.
It will always be remembered as the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month.
Recorded in history as Armistice Day by President Woodrow Wilson proclamation of November 1919, the name was changed to Veterans Day by an Act of Congress on May 24, 1954.
On Veterans’ Day 2008, Bruce Pecsi, Commander of Allan Milk VFW Memorial Post 7276 of Long Eddy, named in honor of Allan Milk, who died in the Vietnam War, addressed the assemblage gathered outside the local fire house.
“Fellow comrades, Ladies Auxiliary, Long Eddy Fire Department, fellow patriots… we welcome you here today in remembrance of all our comrades who have served, and are serving in all branches of the armed forces in this country and abroad.
“Veterans Day is a day of honor and pride, a day of remembrance for all those who have given the ultimate sacrifice of themselves for their country and this great nation of ours.
“Veterans Day is also a day to remember our godfathers of all the wars and battles that were fought to make this country free. From the Revolutionary War to present day Iraq, from the patriots of New England to the modern day soldier.
“Veterans Day is a time to never forget the men and women who are missing in action… Veterans’ Day is a special day in the hearts and minds of Americans everywhere. God Bless Her.”
Pecsi served in the U.S. Army in Southeast Asia during 1967-68, serving with a supply unit attached to the 11th Armored Cavalry. He did one and a half tours near Xuan Loc.
“Veterans Day means everything to me,” he said. “It’s pride, it’s honor… I’m just proud to be an American.”
Frank Geosits, VFW Post 7276 chaplain, served in the U.S. Navy. His wife Kathleen is an officer in the post auxiliary, who sang the National Anthem and “God Bless America” during the ceremonies.
Charles “Chuck” Young served with the U.S. Marine Corps in Chu Lai and Danang in 1970-71.
Today, Captain Young heads up the recreated 143rd New York Volunteer Infantry (NYVI), a group of hardcore Civil War re-enactors.
On Tuesday, the 143rd was represented by Brett Dirie, a 6-year-old “Little Private,” Sergeant Dennis Bernitt, Pvt. Jamie Warner, Pvt. John Norman, Pvt. Travis Roosa and Sgt. Keith Roosa, in addition to Young.
“Veterans Day is a tribute to all veterans,” Young said. “It just gives me goosebumps to think about how this country came about, and without the veterans, we wouldn’t be here today.”
More Veterans Day photos may be found inside.