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Savannah, Chatham County honors military on Veterans Day

Savannah Morning News - 11/12/2018

Nov. 12--On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 2018, the ringing of Savannah'sCity Hall bells echoed over the city, honoring the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.

Nov. 11 was once observed as Armistice Day, but in 1954, Congress voted to change the name to Veterans Day, broadening the honor to all who have served the U.S. armed forces.

Savannah's ceremonies on Sunday were sprawling. Following the ringing of the bells at City Hall, 21 buglers, scattered along the route from the intersection of Bull and Bay streets to the World War I memorial at Daffin Park, played taps.

Savannah wasn't the only place in Chatham County celebrating Veterans Day.

Fort Pulaski offered free admission on Sunday and offered special programming which included costumed re-enactors, cannon firing demonstrations, tours, music, a parade and even a baseball game.

At the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, admission was free for a patriotic concert from Savannah Children's Choir. And re-enactors were costumed as crewmen in the museum's combat gallery.

Savannah's City Hall is also hosting an exhibition through December called Remembering the Great War: World War I Centennial.

In Daffin, Retired Army Lieutenant Col. Doug Andrews, the chair of the Veterans Council of Chatham County, stood before a crowd of veterans and civilians who were gathered to observe the solemn holiday.

"It's great for our young troops to be able to see that the support is there for those in uniform," Andrews said. "It's true that only one percent of Americans are defending the other 99, so when the one percent can see that the 99 appreciate it, it means a lot. A few decades ago, we didn't see that kind of support."

Andrews welcomed the crowd to the ceremony after the 21st bugler played. The U.S. Army's 3rd Infantry Division Honor Guard presented the colors, and the 3rd ID's Brass Quintet played the National Anthem.

Andrews recited the history of U.S. involvement in WWI and introduced the speaker for the ceremony: the 3rd ID's 2nd Battalion7th Infantry Regiment 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team Commanding Officer Lieutenant Col. Robert Stanton Jr.

"We are all part of a sacred trust, to safeguard our way of life, even potentially at the expense of our own," Stanton said.

"Veterans Day is a celebration of all those who have served and continue to serve our nation with honor and distinction. Our all-volunteer force has continued to answer the call during the last 17 years of war. Across battalions, divisions and conflicts, our soldiers are still bound by a call to service."

Stanton also took time to recognize the sacrifices of the families of those who serve.

"It should also be an opportunity to recognize the unsung heroes that stand behind each one of us," Stanton said. "Whether that be a mother, father, sons and daughters, grandparents or a husband or a wife, we all have family," Stanton said. "And so we should say thank you, not only to a veteran but also to their families, for they too have served and sacrificed for our nation."

Stanton went on to say that he was thankful for the outpouring of support for the armed services in the modern age, citing a past where those in the military were derided by the public. He ended by thanking those who came out to the ceremony.

"I speak on behalf of my colleagues when I say: It is truly great to be a soldier today," Stanton said. "We are blessed and appreciative of the support from all of you."

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(c)2018 Savannah Morning News (Savannah, Ga.)

Visit the Savannah Morning News (Savannah, Ga.) at savannahnow.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

 
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