Legion, VFW celebrate veterans
LAUGHLIN — The annual American Legion Richard Springston Post 60 Veterans Day activities presented a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to veterans, as they have for many years.
Speakers, including the Veterans of Foreign Wars essay winners, took a few moments to show their love and appreciation for military men and women who have served and continue to serve.
“Veterans Day is not just a holiday,” said Legion Post commander Terril Tinnell. “It’s a day to thank the countless men and women in our armed services. This is their day.”
Tinnell recounted a story of a county sheriff who’d been in the military. After the sheriff’s time in the service, he joined law enforcement.
As the sheriff went through some of his things, Tinnell said, he found a letter he’d received while serving. The letter stood out because of the sentiments included.
As fate would have it, the sheriff recognized the name of the fourth grader who signed it, the writer was now one of the sheriff’s deputies, Tinnell said.
“Thanking our veterans may seem like a small gesture to some, but it can have a deeper meaning,” said Tinnell. “While incidents (like the one recited) make the world smaller, it’s veterans who make the world much safer.”
Veterans defeated communism, fascism, imperialism, liberated slaves, kept the peace during the Cold War and continue to battle terrorism, said Tinnell.
Veterans have accomplished great things, he said.
“We gather at events like this to honor not just recent generations of veterans but every man and woman who has served since the American Revolution,” said Tinnell.
This year’s event is particularly poignant falling on the anniversary of the end of World War I, Tinnell said, on Nov. 11, 1918, 100 years ago, the war ended.
“It was a conflict so bloody and horrific, many optimistically called it ‘The War to End All Wars,’” said Tinnell. “Unfortunately, it was not.”
It was that year the American Legion was formed, he said, as a commitment by this country to support veterans who at that time came home blinded from mustard gas, impoverished from having served or shell shocked and lost.
Roger Reimer, Laughlin Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 243 commander, also spoke during the function, recognizing the student essay winners, Jayson Wymbs and Rami Yousef.
Reimer thanked the staff at Laughlin Junior Senior High School for their efforts and student Samantha Sitts for her help.
Reimer discussed the significance of it being 100 years since the end of World War I and talked of how Veterans Day began as Armistice Day and how upset both of his grandfathers, WWI veterans, were by the name change.
“Hard to believe that it was a hundred years ago WWI ended because as a young guy I knew a lot of WWI vets – my grandfathers, their friends, neighbors,” said Reimer.
He noted the number of service personnel lost in the conflict and how it’s been argued that if WWI hadn’t happened, there wouldn’t have been a WWII.
Reimer recognized LJSHS students who graduated and joined the military and recent graduate Lauren Acevedo who will be joining them following enlistment in the U.S. Army.
The event included an opening and closing prayer by Legion chaplain Victoria Connelly.