American Legion Post 42 hosts annual Veterans Day celebration
Buddy Langone gets a bit choked up when he talks about Veterans Day. As a Vietnam vet, when he came home from war he and others were spit on. Public opinion about veterans is very different today, he noted, but the day of honor and remembrance continues to resonate with the Commander of the American Legion Post 42 in Gillette.
“A lot of veterans, who are on their own, don’t have someone to say thank you,” Langone said.
That’s why this day is special, he noted, that and instilling pride for both military and country for the next generation. They don’t have heroes like John Wayne, he said, to represent the love and honor of serving one’s country as increasingly sports figures and other celebrities emblematically choose to take a knee rather than stand for their flag and nation.
“It’s a day to honor those heroes, particularly the handful or so of local Gold Star families who have paid the ultimate sacrifice,” Langone said.
Next Wednesday, Nov. 11, as in year’s past, the American Legion will be hosting a day of activities to honor veterans past, present and future.
The day begins with the placing of flags on the graves of roughly 400 veterans laid to rest at Mt. Pisgah Cemetery. The public is invited to join the local Civil Air Patrol cadets, Boy Scouts and other community groups in hanging the flags.
As in past years, the American Legion Auxiliary will be hosting a free egg bake breakfast at the post following the flag ceremony that morning at 8 a.m.
There will also be a memorial ceremony at Legacy Park, beginning at 11 a.m. which will be followed by a parade at 1 p.m., with flags removed from veterans graves at 4 p.m.
The annual coming home ceremony at Rozet Elementary School has been canceled this year due to the coronavirus.
Wednesday evening, the American Legion Post 42 will be hosting a free ribeye dinner to honor veterans and Gold Star families. Veterans and Gold Star families attending do not have to be members of the American Legion and are invited to bring one guest.
Otherwise the event is closed to the public, which Lagone asked that residents respect. Unlike the post’s regular Friday night dinners, this event is open only to veterans and Gold Star families.
The reception at Post 42 begins at 5 p.m., followed by dinner and a ceremony honoring all branches of the military and Gold Star families. For him and others, it’s a day of pride, camaraderie and reverence.
“We’re in this together,” he said, “so we honor it together.”