By Mark Scheer
Niagara Gazette — The Rev. Robert Scott knows a little bit about service to his country.
For 25 years, the new pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Niagara Falls served in the U.S. Army, including stints in Iraq and parts of Africa.
That’s one of the reasons why he wants to make sure his church and congregation recognize the sacrifices of servicemen and women this Veteran’s Day.
“For us to be able to open our doors and invite veterans in just awareness to them and brings interaction with them,” Scott said.
Scott’s church, located at 624 Hyde Park Blvd., will hold a military appreciation service at 10:45 a.m. Sunday, followed by a meal honoring area vets. The meal will be catered by Michael’s restaurant and will start at noon for individuals participating in the morning service.
“The intent is to pat them on the back really and say ‘thanks,’” Scott said. “I don’t think the normal civilian population understands truly the sacrifice involved.”
The church service and meal is just one of several Veterans Day events planned locally this weekend.
Other announced events include:
• Veterans Memorial at Hyde Park. A Veteran’s Day ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. Sunday near the memorial at Hyde Park in Niagara Falls. 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.
• Niagara University’s Veterans Day commemorative event. The university will honor those who have sacrificed to ensure the freedoms Americans hold dear and to recognize 200 years of peace between the United States and Canada. The event begins at 11 a.m. and will be held Monday at the Niagara University Peace Garden, located between Alumni Hall and St. Vincent’s Hall on the NU campus. The ceremony will include the dedication and unveiling of a commemorative plaque for the Niagara University 1812 Bicentennial Peace Garden as presented by Niagara University, 1812 Niagara Bicentennial Legacy Council and Binational Alliance.
• The Town of Niagara Lions and Lioness Clubs’ annual Veterans Day ceremony. The clubs’ ceremony starts at 11 a.m. Monday and will be held at Veterans Heights Park, located at the intersection of Lawson and Bellreng drives. It will include the presentation of memorial wreaths by the Fredrick F. Cadille Post of the American Legion, the Ladies Auxiliary, the sons of the American Legion, Brownie Troop 70008 Colonial Village School and the Lions and Lioness. The ceremony will also include the raising of the flag, color guard provided by the Corps of Cadets, opening and closing prayers by the Rev. Dr. Lee Holiday and performances of Taps and the Star Spangled Banner by trumpet player and Niagara Wheatfield High School student John Janese.
Following the ceremony, Lioness Club members will serve beverages and pastries at St. Vincent DePaul Parish Center, 2748 Military Road, Town of Niagara. All are welcome to join. For more information, call 628-0244.