CHESTERTON | Outside, bumper stickers on the cars read “Semper Fi,” “Vietnam Veteran” and “Never Again Will One Generation of Veterans Abandon Another.”
Inside, American Legion Post 170 members and friends stood at attention, saluted and bowed their heads commemorating all those who serve and have served, during the post’s annual Veteran’s Day ceremony Sunday afternoon.
Post Commander Harold Walker said 70 to 100 people typically gather for the annual ceremony, which is now in its ninth year.
“It’s a celebration of everybody who served proudly and that’s what we’re here for,” Walker said. “This is to honor those still with us and those who are gone.”
After members presented the colors and led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance, Chaplain Dwight Smith gave the invocation. “We pray for our country’s leaders, that they learn to work together for peace for all the world,” he said.
Post members presented a program of songs and readings to commemorate the day, while a red, white and blue layer cake awaited the program’s end.
Auxiliary President Peggy Eagen, who organized the ceremony, explained the meaning of the POW Table, set for one, which symbolizes soldiers who have not yet returned from the field of battle.
Eagen also read “The Final Inspection,” about a soldier who meets God upon his death.
“Step forward now you soldier, you’ve borne your burdens well. Walk peacefully on heaven’s streets, you’ve done your time in hell,” read Eagen.
Carol Alesia, of Chesterton, and her friend, Mary Culhane, of Wheaton, Ill., decided to end their weekend with the post’s celebration.
To Alesia, Veteran’s Day means freedom.
"Without the vets, we wouldn’t be free,” she said.
Post member Greg Cooley’s reading of “What Is a Vet?” summarized the day’s message.
“Remember, each time you see someone who has served our country, just lean over and say thank you,” read Cooley. “Two little words that mean a lot.”