Duty. Loyalty. Respect.
Those words were repeated several times Friday morning at the 8th annual Veterans Day Ceremony held at the Delaware Readiness Center/Air National Guard Armory.
“Those three words. Our nation is so in need of that,” said Major General John C. Harris Jr., assistant adjutant general-Army, Ohio National Guard.
Harris, the event’s keynote speaker, told a group of about 200 veterans and community leaders that “the challenge of the National Guard is great right now.” Harris listed the decreased military rolls as an example.
“Your National Guard is very, very busy,” Harris said, listing several deployments involving Ohio-based units.
He also said Tuesday’s election has no bearing on the work that servicemen and women perform on a daily basis.
“They woke up the morning of Nov. 9 and they didn’t ask does the President of the United States have a D or an R behind their name. One of our great enemies today is divisiveness within our nation,” Harris said.
Several local veterans were honored after a breakfast.
Those include Dwight Cimino, Joe DiGenova and Joseph Parisi with Outstanding Veteran Awards. A Friend of Veterans Award was presented to Donna Evans, for her tireless work promoting veterans’ causes and doing benefits for them.
Cimino served in the Army National Guard and was in Vietnam from 1963-68. He is currently a pastor.
DiGenova also served in Vietnam as a member of the Air Force, from 1964-68.
Parisi is a Vietnam War veteran serving in the Army from 1964-69.
“It’s nice all the Italians were recognized,” Parisi joked.
Evans has organized a 5K run and lunches for veterans in Sunbury.
“I started out doing this because my husband Glenn’s father, Mitchell Evans, was killed in World War II at the Battle of the Bulge,” Evans said as she fought back tears.
One veteran, Walter Hurd, came from Marengo.
“This is my first time. I got invited by a friend,” said Hurd, who served in Korea with the Navy.
Hurd, 87, had a career in education in Delaware City Schools upon his return from duty. He continues to work with a jail ministry, a project he joined in 1989.
“We all make mistakes. I try to help them see that there is new life, and that new life is in Jesus Christ,” Hurd said.
A Folding of the Flag ceremony was performed by Lt. Col. Russ Anible, retired U.S. Air Force, and members of the Delaware County Air Force junior ROTC.
A Remembrance Table was presented by Richard Dorrity and Gene Fuller, adjutant American Legion Post 457.
The Buckeye Valley Alumni Band provided music. Echo Taps was played by Martin Williams and Larry Remer, Bugles Across America.
A Rifle Salute by the Honor Guard, Delaware County Veterans Association, concluded the program at the Veterans Memorial.