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Ogdensburg Veterans Day Ceremony afforded warm, sunny weather

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A crowd of roughly 150 people gathered on Sunday morning to honor Ogdensburg’s veterans at Groulx Park.

Starting at 11 a.m. the Veterans Day observation sought to pay respect to those who served in the American military in conflicts ranging from the American Revolution to the War on Terror.

Mert M. Haynes, vice commander of Ogdensburg’s AmVet post 19, was largely responsible for organizing the day’s events.

“I think the lord’s looking down on us with the beautiful weather,” he said, noting that the morning’s clouds had parted and made way for a warm, sunny ceremony.

Ogdensburg Mayor William D. Nelson said veterans are often forgotten and it’s important to have days specifically set aside to remember them and their sacrifice.

City Manager John M. Pinkerton said, “Nothing can do justice for the sacrifices these men and women have made.”

The ceremony began with the VFW’s Color Guard presenting the flag followed by the National Anthem played over the speakers.

Wreaths, brought forward by Ogdensburg’s Cub Scouts Pack 2, were laid by the memorials dedicated to veterans who served throughout America’s history.

Members of Ogdensburg’s AmVets, VFW, American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, Daughters of the American Revolution and the Elks Club laid the wreaths and were joined by Mary and Steve Sovie, who honored their son, Nicholas, who was killed in a training exercise in 2006.

The Color Guard also introduced a new tradition to the ceremony with a presentation of the correct way to fold the American flag; a 13 step process with symbolic, Judeo-Christian meaning associated with each fold.

“Sometimes we get confused about what a veteran is,” said Matthew J. Flynn, Disabled Veteran Outreach Program Specialist at the state Department of Labor.

Mr. Flynn said a veteran is anyone “stepped forward” to serve and left with honor.

“We all like to sleep in warm, safe beds,” he said, adding that veterans are the people who made that possible.

The ceremony was followed by soup and sandwiches served at the Ogdensburg AmVet’s post and, in the evening, a flag burning hosted by the Knights of Columbus.

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