Niagara Gazette — A lot of people will say that Veterans Day has joined the long list of holidays that have become little more than a day off to those lucky enough not to have to head in to work.
Sadly, they’re probably right to a certain extent —that’s why you have to admire the effort of the many folks in the Niagara area that work hard to make all of us remember those that sacrifice so much.
There are a whole host of events painstakingly put together to allow the rest of us a chance to give thanks to our local veterans and remember the service of our brave men and women in uniform.
And we’re proud to say, local ceremonies aren’t limited to just a couple services today or Monday — it’s practically a weeklong affair around here.
Among local observances, Mount St. Mary’s Hospital and Our Lady of Peace Nursing Care Residence honored more than 80 employees, volunteers and Our Lady of Peace residents for their military service during a special luncheon and ceremony on Thursday.
On Friday, Niagara County Community College hosted its annual Veterans Day Ceremony at the college’s Veterans Memorial Park.
As for today — Veterans Day proper — there are a couple big events in the Falls.
Calvary Baptist Church at 624 Hyde Park Blvd., will hold a military appreciation service at 10:45 a.m., followed by a meal honoring area vets.
Not too far away at the Veterans Memorial site at Hyde Park, the city will conduct its annual ceremony at 11 a.m. A full color guard will be on hand for the laying of the wreaths, the playing of taps and speeches from enlisted members of the military and veterans.
The main speaker for the event will be James Kimetz, a Niagara University student enlisted in the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. Kimetz will be commissioned at the rank of Second Lieutenant when he graduates in May.
The monument, with the names of over 1,400 soldiers carved in stone, will be open to the public during the ceremony.
And for those that want to do a little more with their day off than sleep in Monday, there are two services to attend.
Niagara University will hold its Veterans Day commemorative event at 11 a.m. at the site of the NU Peace Garden, located between Alumni Hall and St. Vincent’s Hall.
Also at 11 a.m. Monday, the Town of Niagara Lions and Lioness Clubs will conduct their impressive Veterans Day ceremony. It will be held at Veterans Heights Park, located at the intersection of Lawson and Bellreng drives. And don’t forget — the Lioness Club members will serve beverages and pastries at St. Vincent DePaul Parish Center, 2748 Military Road afterward.
Be it today or tomorrow, take time out to get to one of these events and properly honor their sacrifice— countless veterans and their families paid dearly for the right.
We salute and thank the men and women who have sacrificed so much for the freedoms we enjoy — and we also salute and thank the local men and women who work so hard to make sure we never forget them.