Willsboro church honors members of Greatest Generation

WILLSBORO Twenty-seven years ago, World War II Veteran Fred Van Ornam administered the United States Military Oath of Enlistment to his nephew, Dwight Rolston. Rolston turned the tables last Sunday, asking his uncle to repeat the oath at a ceremony to honor veterans in Willsboro. Veterans of World War II were the guests of honor last Sunday in Willsboro. The Third Annual Veterans Day Appreciation Program and Dinner was held on Sunday, Nov. 11 at the Willsboro United Methodist Church. About 50 vets, from all services and eras, attended. Senior Master Sergeant Dwight Rolston of the Vermont Air National Guard, a native of Willsboro, gave the keynote address. A 1980 graduate of Willsboro Central School, he credited members of the community with shaping him into the man he was. Veterans Day is a day to show honor and gratitude to those few that have sacrificed so that many can live in a free and democratic society, said Rolston. Rolston spoke passionately about the need to respect veterans, and the importance of offering them thanks. He pointed out that less than one percent of the nations population answers the call to serve. Its long overdue, but its never too late. America owes our military veterans an eternal debt of gratitude, said Rolston. Barbara Paye coordinated the recognition with Barbara Feeley. She said organizers wanted to recognize the World War II generations impact on the nation. Her father, Harris Young, a former veterans councilor for Essex County, was one of the honerees. He instilled patriotism and the importance of honoring your veterans, said Paye. Theyre the reason were still here. Honerees include Robert Bigelow, Joseph Bruno, Jr., John Carver, Ed Collins, Ken Coonrod, Charles Golden, Joyce Brown Hams, Clarence Jacques, John Jerdo, Raymond Jerdo, Edward Joos, Chuck Krotz, Harry Little, Bernard Oliver, Victor Perry, John Remancus, William Thompson, Fred VanOrnam and Harris Young. The program, dinner and presentation was held in memory of Wayne N. Benedict, a World War II veteran from Willsboro who passed away recently. He was an active member of the Methodist Church, serving as its treasurer for over 40 years. At age 96, John Remancus is Willsboros oldest World War II Veteran. He said he was grateful for the recognition. We know how people feel about us veterans and it makes us feel good that there are people thinking of us still today, said Remancus. The event also took time to remember those currently serving oversee. A freewill offering collected $350 to purchase items for current military members.

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