North country observes Veterans Day

Updated: Nov. 11, 2020 at 11:39 AM EST
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WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Despite rainy conditions and COVID-19 restrictions, north country communities still made the effort to honor our nation’s veterans.

The Watertown VFW observed Veterans Day with a wreath ceremony Wednesday morning.

Dozens gathered at VFW Post 1400 on Bellew Avenue for the annual event.

Assemblyman Mark Walczyk made a brief speech as well as Watertown city council members Sarah Compo and Lisa Ruggiero. Wreaths were hung to commemorate veterans.

VFW Commander Stephen Roberts said why it’s so important to honor our men and women in uniform.

“Regardless of how you feel about what’s going on in our world today -- whether it be politics, whether it be health concerns -- our veterans have always been there,” he said. “Our veterans are out there right now fighting for our country and that means a lot. We want to make sure those veterans are honored, not only those that are fighting today, but those that have fought in the past.”

The ceremony concluded at Veterans Walkway in downtown Watertown.

In Cape Vincent, the American Legion paraded to the village green where a formal service was held.

And in Lowville, the American Legion performed a 21 gun salute, prepared meals for the veterans, and raised flags to full staff after they’ve remained at half-staff for months.

“People have died for that flag and it’s time for it to go all the way up,” said Lee Hinkleman, Lowville American Legion Post commander.

Because of the pandemic, observances were smaller, but organizers say it was still important to do something and veterans appreciated it.

“I think it’s great to be around my fellow veterans, hear their stories, especially the older guys,” said James Trainham, Marine veteran.

Organizers say our veterans have always been there for us, so on Veterans day it’s important to return the favor.

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