A large crowd gathered near the flagpole in front of American Legion Mitchell Post 281 last Saturday in the Center to honor all those who have served in the armed forces.
There were Legionnaires, students, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, veterans and other Islanders who came to pay tribute to those who have served in the military.
Legion Commander Dave Clark, assisted by the scouts, raised the flag while Amelia Clark led the crowd in the national anthem.
Councilman Jim Colligan, a Vietnam veteran, introduced Auxiliary head Mary Dudley. Ms. Dudley reminded everyone of the founding of Veterans day in 1938 as a day to mark the ending of World War I, which had been known as Armistice Day.
She urged all present to “ help those who helped us. Give to an organization that will help veterans. Become a booster of the Legion.”
Mr. Colligan then read a Shelter Island active duty roster and urged all to “pray for their safe return.”
The names of the service members are: Airman Brianna Rietvelt (USAF), Erin (Dowling) Brosch (USAF), Pfc. Samantha Capello (USMC), Capt. Sean Roger Clark (USMC), Cpl. Mitchell Brinsley Clark (USMC), Spc. Samuel Clark (US Army), Spc. Shane Corbett (US Army), Commander Brian Cunningham (USN), ARAM Cody Farrell(USN), Pvt. Wyatt Fokine (USMC), Philip Franzoni (USN), Cpt. Charles Idle (US Army), Lt. Com. Timothy Knapp, (USN), Cpl. Nathan Mundy (USMC), Airman Jeremy Schmid (USAF), Commander Scott Sherman (USN), Gunnery Sgt. Tscharner Thomson (USMC), and 1st Lt. Morgan Waddington (USMC).
Guest speaker Lt. Col. Peter McCarthy said that when he was a young infantryman, he didn’t think of himself as a vet. “They were the old guys,” he said. “And now I’m an old guy.”
The colonel noted that, “We should all be proud of the service of these Islanders. Let’s be grateful for their service and thank them for their service.”
Legion Chaplain Father Peter DeSanctis gave a benediction after the school choir sang “God Bless America.”
Legionnaire Cliff Clark announced at the end of the ceremonies that he is the Legion’s service officer, and will help veterans in their dealings with the Veterans Administration.