Richmond service honors veterans

RINGING THE BELL — Veterans Day in Richmond brought the ringing of the old schoolhouse bell outside the Crew House Museum on Main Street when the clock noted 11 a.m. Nov. 11. The bell was rung by veterans Don Swickard, left, vice president of the Richmond Community Historical Society, event organizer, and Korean War veteran Tom Grimm, who at 62 years is the longest serving member of the Richmond American Legion Post 740, Honored Seven. -- Contributed

RICHMOND — In the midst of a frigid morning chill, Veterans Day was observed in the village Saturday during an outdoor ceremony organized by the Richmond Community Historical Society.

Dan Vojvodich, past commander of the Richmond American Legion Post 740 Honored Seven, addressed the gathering of about 30 people, noting, “Post 740 is proud to be part of this community. This Richmond community plays a very important part in recognizing veterans.”

Vojvodich said Veterans Day is about the number 11. “The cease fire to the first World War, the war to end all wars, was signed on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11 month,” he said. “It was nice to think that World War I would be the last war ever, but that was a little too optimistic for this world. Our allies across the world like Britain, Canada, New Zealand and Australia and many others still celebrate this day based on how it originally started as Remembrance Day. Our country changed it to Veterans Day in order to honor and recognize all veterans,” he said.

“Due to its origin, many countries celebrate this day as a sort of Memorial Day for them; however, we have a Memorial Day. This (Nov. 11) is a day we take in this country to honor all veterans who have ever or are still serving our country in order to protect and guarantee our freedom as a country,” Vojvodich noted.

“Being a veteran does not mean they had to serve in combat — it means they stepped up to protect all that we hold dear — our God, our family, our country and our flag,” he said. “Remember, stand for the American flag. It’s so important,” he implored the audience, “and don’t forget the P.O.W.s and the M.I.A.’s and thank a veteran.”

The observance included welcoming remarks by Sandy Judy, historical society secretary, who served as master of ceremonies. Her husband, Phil, is the historical society president. Musical selections were performed by Dave and Pam Werdebaugh of the Sands of Time.

The Rev. Georgette Gaston, pastor of Richmond United Methodist Church, offered the opening prayer.

The conclusion of the service featured the ringing of the old schoolhouse bell located outside the Crew House Museum on Main Street, the area in which the Veterans Day ceremony occurred.

At 11 a.m., it was rung by veterans Tom Grimm, who at 62 years is the longest serving member of the Richmond American Legion, and veteran Don Swickard, vice president of the historical society.

Grimm served in the Army Signal Corps during the Korean War from 1952-54.