The American Legion Post 123 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2138 held a ceremony in honor of Veterans Day Friday morning.
American Legion Commander Randy Massey opened the ceremony by talking about how Veterans Day is a chance to honor and reflect on the millions of men and women who served their country.
"It is a time to remember with pride what they did for their country. For the people who did not serve their country, it is a time to say thanks."
With the draw down of troops in Iraq, Massey asked anyone who sees a veteran in the airport or around town to say thank you.
"When my son came back five years ago, every time someone finds out he served in Iraq. They say thank you and it makes his whole day."
Massey said that many soldiers are returning at a time when the economy is poor and life is tough. He asked residents to help soldiers in any way they could.
"We like to remember the sacrifices that they make over there. We hope we can do them a good service."
VFW Chaplain Maurice Wyman did the benediction and Charles Warner read the invocation.
"Let us remember the good things they have accomplished," Warner said. "And let us pray for peace."
VFW Commander Kevin Martin said our soldiers fight and die 363 days of the year without "getting a thank you from the citizens that they are sworn to protect."
"They provide this selfless service, so we can enjoy the comforts of life."
Martin asked the crowd if during the hardship caused by the October snowstorm did we once think of the soldiers serving our country who deal with these sacrifices on a daily basis.
"The sacrifices they make on a daily basis pail ours in comparison."
Martin told the crowd the story of U.S. Marine Clebe McClary, who commanded a rifle platoon during the Vietnam War. McClary lost his right eye and arm and suffered extensive damage to his legs, face and back.
During the 80s, McClary ran with Martin's platoon even though it caused him great pain.
"Despite the pain, he finished the long run with 82nd Airborne. I recall one thing he said when he addressed the platoon. In a world of give and take, there are not enough of us willing to give what it takes. I believe those words speak volumes."
Martin asked if enough is done for soldiers. He told the crowd to talk to veterans in the coffee shop, visit the VFW or American Legion or become involved in a veterans organization in the area.
"Why not pay them tribute in your own little way everyday? You want to see a soldier's face light up, extend your hand and thank him for his or her service."
Mayor Anthony LaRosa told the Board of Education members in attendance that the veterans should be invited to the schools the week before Veterans Day, so more students would attend the annual ceremony.
"They would understand what these ladies and gentlemen have done for this country."
LaRosa said we have our "freedoms" because of the men and women serving our country. He told the crowd that they should all shake the hands of the veterans present today.
State Sen. Paul Doyle started his speech by talking about the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and how he hoped that they would end soon.
"I think its time to bring our troops home."
He told the crowd to not only thank veterans, but to also talk to them about "their particular service."
"Don't just say thank you to a veteran, learn about his or her story."
State Rep. Antonio Guerrera, who serves on the Veterans Committee at the State Capitol, said veterans did not ask for anything except respect.
"We need to show our veterans respect. We need to show them we can do anything for them. We need to reach out and help our heroes."