BARRINGTON, Ill. - Overcast skies and blustery, cold wind could not stop the patriotic spirit from burning brightly during the Village of Barrington’s Veterans’ Day ceremony, November 10, 2023.
Veterans and civilians gathered to listen to remarks from Karen Darch, Barrington Village President and Captain Michael Ariola, Public Affairs Officer, 85th U.S. Army Reserve Support Command, based in Arlington Heights, Illinois.
“Today we say thank you to our veterans and those serving in the military,” said Darch. “Thank you to all for being with us today.”
Darch’s family shares in a rich family lineage of service in the armed forces.
“My dad served in the Army Air Corp during World War II. It was wonderful growing up with a dad who was a veteran. My husband served in the U.S. Navy. He was in the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps during college and served on two different destroyers.” said Darch.
“It’s important to remember the sacrifice of those who have served our country and it’s important to be grateful for it,” said Darch. “We are very thankful for our veterans in the community.”
In the audience, Paul Corwin, Navy veteran from Barrington, listened to the Village President’s words and recounted his own military service.
“I attended Lane Technical High School in Chicago and graduated in 1962. I went into the Navy in 1965 and trained to be a nuclear plant operator. My job was to take samples and do surveys of radioactive areas,” he said. “I lost my best friend who was a radio operator with the U.S. Marines. He was killed in Vietnam.”
Corwin served on two ships during his Navy service. The U.S.S. Bainbridge and U.S.S. Cavalier, a Bayfield class attack transport, which operated in the Gulf of Tonkin.
Ariola spoke about the history of Veteran’s Day.
“As many of you know, we celebrate Veterans Day on the anniversary of the Armistice that ended the First World War. On November 11th, 1918, the armistice agreement was signed in a railroad car in Compiegne, France,” said Ariola.
In 1954, Congress changed the name from Armistice Day to Veterans Day to honor all veterans who served the nation.
“On Veterans’ Day, we honor the brave men and women from all walks of life who have stepped forward to defend our nation throughout our history,” said Ariola.
Barrington resident Rich Bowman served in the U.S. Air Force from 1962 to 1967. He is an ROTC graduate from Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois.
“I was in logistics and transportation,” said Bowman. “In Vietnam, I ran a small air terminal. My men loaded and unloaded cargo from cargo planes because it was too dangerous to use the roads."
Bowman completed his military service at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii.
“They needed people who had served in Vietnam. It was a good experience. People always thank me for my service. It was the highlight of my life,” Bowman said.
Ariola paid tribute to what is the greatest asset in the U.S. military. The people who serve day and night in defense of the nation.
“Our all-volunteer force is a credit to Americans of all races, genders and creeds; and our common commitment to defense of, and love for, our country binds and unites us together. That goes to the heart of what it means to be an American,” Ariola said.