WWII Vets Honored
Last Sunday marked the 100 anniversary of the WWI cease-fire. The community honored veterans during a Veterans Day ceremony at Waterfront Park (see Never Forget).
Specifically recognized were our local WWII veterans:
Marty Caplan
Frank Chafel
Anthony De Marco
Frank Klum Sr.
Charles Konsler
Samuel Lane
David Lorfgren (Clermont HS Principal, retired)

Chester Mays
John Popolitzio
Louis Proux
Archei Riehle
Alfred Scheibner
Frank Silver 

What is a Veteran?

Carolyn Darling reads, A Veteran Is….

Carolyn Darling has been married to husband Bill for 65 years and lived in Clermont for the past 48 years.  Bill was a Navy veteran for 20 years and spent most of his time on ships in the Pacific.  More than 20 years ago, Carolyn read an article published in the Holmes County Advertiser which she cut out, kept and read at Clermont’s veterans day observance.

A Veteran Is..
..(author anonymous)
read by Carolyn Darling

America’s war veterans come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and ages. Their collective experience spans two world wars and several foreign conflicts. They have followed war mules through Flanders Field, dropped from landing barges onto the beaches of Normandy, faced the icy cold of Porkchop Hill and trudged the rice paddies of the Mekong Delta.

But regardless of the difference in makeup and experience, all veterans share a common bond, a brotherhood of memory and hard-won wisdom that helps define their character.

A veteran is a person of peace, soft-spoken and slow to anger, quick to realize that those who talk most about the glory of war are those who know least about its horror.  He never jokes about war, he has been there and still sees on memory’s vivid screen of the wounded and the dying, the widows and orphans. He knows first-hand that no war is good and that the only thing worse than war is slavery.

The veteran is a friend to all races, begrudging none; always carrying the knowledge that it is not the man that is the enemy but enslavement and false ideologies.  Those once faced across hostile battle lines are now esteemed brothers.

A veteran is at once proud and humble; proud of the fact that in over 160 years no foreign enemy has set foot on American soil and humble in the realization that many of his comrades who helped make this a reality, never came home.

More than anything else, a veteran loves freedom. He can spend a whole afternoon doing nothing…just because it suits him and just because he has paid the price to do what he wants with his time.  He also takes a personal pride in the freedom of others, in men and women attending the Church of their choice; in friends voting the way they choose, and in children sleeping quietly without fear.

A veteran is a person who understands the awesome price of life’s intangibles of freedom, justice, and democracy. His motto is to live and let live. But if forced to decide between servitude and conflict, the Veteran would once again answer his call to duty.  Because, above all, above all else, a veteran is an American.

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