Aberdeen Salutes Vets
(From left) Officer of the Day Robert Hanson escorts Nick Guerra, commander of Korean War Veterans Chapter 271, during the placing of the wreaths to honor the Veterans of Homeland Defense during a Nov. 11 ceremony at Aberdeen's Memorial Park.

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. - On the eleventh day, of the eleventh month, at the eleventh hour of the year 2011, the citizens of Aberdeen received thanks for selfless service and encouragement to keep longstanding traditions in place during the Veterans Day ceremony at Memorial Park.

Col. Orlando Ortiz, Aberdeen Proving Ground Garrison and deputy installation commander, thanked local veterans for inspiring those who followed in theirfootsteps while praising local citizens for honoring their deeds with annual ceremonies.

Aberdeen Memorial Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10028 co-hosted the event with American Legion Bernard L. Tobin Post 128, Fitzgerald-Moore Catholic War Veterans Post 1841 and Korean
War Veterans Chapter 271.

Robert Brown of Post 10028 was the ceremony host and Dave Johnson of Post 128 was the master of ceremonies. Guests included members of the Aberdeen and Harford County councils. The Aberdeen High School band provided music and Post 128's honor guard gavea memorial salute.

Ortiz said how proud he was that the APG community regularly comes together to honor its veterans and servicemembers.

"I know that I appreciate your service and I am proud to consider you my brothers and sisters and I thank you for your service," he said.

He commended them for inspiring "those in the midst of battle," and said that as a result the nation is close to prevailing in today's fight, adding that the country's survival depends on the willingness of its people to defend traditions.

"That is what you do here in the Aberdeen community which is why I am very proud to be a part of you." Attendees agreed and remarked on the importance of honoring those who have served and are serving the country.

"We had greatness in every generation of America but I know of none greater than those in Iraq and Afghanistan fighting for us all," said countycouncilmember Sandy Landbeck. John Feroli of Oak Crest, Md., said he attends every Veterans Day ceremony because "it means a lot to remember and to be remembered."

"I come to see old friends; this is a day I look forward to," he said.

Navy veteran and Post 128 Assistant Chaplain Rev. Lewis Geigan said he is organizing volunteers to visit Baltimore-Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport to welcome troops home.

"We love America and we're proud of the men and women who serve," said Geigan, who is also the senior pastor of the Hamilton Christian Center in Baltimore. The ceremony included the traditional placing of the wreaths from each post and the playing of "Taps" by Post 128's bugler,
Ralph Tanchuk. Retired Master Sgt. Dave Mial, also of Post 128, delivered the invocation and benediction.

Page last updated Tue November 22nd, 2011 at 15:41