The mood was a joyous one at the eleventh hour of the eleventh month of the eleventh day of 2018 at Southold’s American Legion Post, as veterans, their families and students from the North Fork’s massive Naval Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps celebrated both local veterans and the 100th Anniversary of Armistice Day.
American Legion Griswold-Terry-Glover Post 803 Commander Charles Saunders reminded the gathered crowd of the blessings of peace here in America, where we are able to hold peaceful, free elections and to worship the gods of our choice.
He reminded the crowd of the four pillars of services that Legion members pursue: Veterans Affairs & Rehabilitation; National Security; Americanism and Children & Youth, reminding the audience that veterans believe in “the justice of our cause, against evil,” a battle fought not just with bodies but with minds.
He also gave a “huge shout out” to the Vietnam veterans in the community.
“I can’t imagine coming back from Afghanistan and being treated the way you were treated,” he said, adding “a lot of them didn’t come back alive.”
Legion member Tom Kennedy reminded the crowd of the sacrifices made by soldiers in wartime, and of veterans’ “noble idealism and sincere capacity for devotion.”
American Legion Ladies Auxiliary President Joan Cochran reminded attendees that the spouses of soldiers have “lived with terrifying loneliness.”
“Our hearts beat in tune with those in other countries who believe in freedom.”
“We don’t get to pick the time we’re born in,” said Suffolk County Legislator Al Krupski, reminding attendees that, during wartime, “everyday people did extraordinary things you never head of.”