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‘Happy 100th Veterans Day’

November 14, 2018

DEADWOOD — “It’s important. It’s a big deal,” said Col. Orson Ward.

Those in attendance for the Veterans Appreciation Day ceremony at VFW Post 5969 in Deadwood were wished a “Happy 100th Veterans Day” by Ward in his address as keynote speaker, where he spoke of patriotism and sacrifice.

Ward asked if anyone in the audience has or has had anyone in service.

Several hands shot in the air.

“To me, that is the definition of sacrifice,” he said.

With the help of the audience, Ward then established the definition of a patriot and communicated service-related stories formative in his own patriotism, starting with the atrocities of war he witnessed in Bosnia-Herzegovinian, namely against one little girl.

“That was the day I became a patriot,” he said, adding that there are many liberties that Americans sometimes take for granted that aren’t afforded citizens of other nations. “On 9/11, I became a patriot again.”

Post 5969 Ladies Auxiliary President Renee Larson presented patriotism certificates to those members of the community flying their flag every day.

Participants in the VFW Veterans Day celebration were also treated to a lunch prepared by the Ladies Auxiliary and could vote on a 20-poster contest, with entries from several Lead-Deadwood Elementary school classes.

A group of Veterans from Ft. Meade were bused in to enjoy the event, as well.

Modifying a quote by Charles M. Province, Ward closed with:

“It is the Veteran, not the minister

Who has given us freedom of religion.

It is the Veteran, not the reporter

Who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the Veteran, not the poet

Who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the Veteran, not the campus organizer

Who has given us freedom to protest.

It is the Veteran, not the lawyer

Who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the Veteran, not the politician

Who has given us the right to vote.

It is the Veteran who salutes the flag,

It is the Veteran who serves the flag

And it is a Veteran beneath the flag,”

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