WARREN - Korean War veteran Bob Brothers sent a simple yet elegant message to all U.S. military veterans Monday: ''Thank you, thank you for your unwavering service in peace time and in war, here in this country and throughout the world.
''Across this great country and throughout the world, Americans will pause today to honor our great fighting men and women, who for more than 235 years have underwritten the freedom by their duty, honor and selflessness,'' Brothers said.
Brothers, the former Army soldier turned community leader and veteran advocate from Howland, was the speaker Monday at the Trumbull County Veterans Day commemoration at First Presbyterian Church in Warren. The event recognized the 60th anniversary of the Korean War armistice agreement, which ended the fighting.
Guests were greeted with music from the Cortland Community Band. The ceremony opened with the posting of the U.S. colors by the 910th Airlift Wing from the Youngstown Air Reserve Station and National Anthem and Pledge of Allegiance done by Kelly Swiger of Bazetta Christian Church and Samantha Zigler, with the Junior ROTC at the Trumbull Career and Technical Center.
Mayor of Warren Doug Franklin welcomed the crowd and urged them to pay honor to veterans for their courage, dedication and sacrifice.
''From the earliest soldiers who shivered and starved through the harsh winters at Valley Forge, we remember; to the dough boys crouched in the muddy trenches in France, we remember you; to the platoons who patrolled the hazy jungles in Vietnam, we remember; and of course, the young men and women patrolling the mountains of Afghanistan, we remember and honor them all.''
Tribune Chronicle / R. Michael Semple
American Legion Honor Guard members Roger Gardner, left, Jim Barbe, center, and Earl Parthemer salute during the Fallen Soldier Tribute on Monday during the Trumbull County Veterans Day ceremony at First Presbyterian Church, 256 Mahoning Ave. N.W., Warren.
The Lakeview High School Women's Choir performed ''America the Beautiful,'' ''Unsung Hero'' and ''God Bless America'' at different points in the ceremony, which came to a close with the American Legion Honor Guard performing the Fallen Soldier Tribute and rifle salute, and taps performed by Garey Watson and Adam Shortread.
In his address, Brothers noted he was drafted into the Army after graduating Warren G. Harding High School in 1949 and served in Japan. He said he felt it an honor and serve his country and community, and he urged those to serve, too.
''All of you should be doing the same,'' Brothers said. ''Each day brings us new hope, new ideas and new inspirations. The past is history, but the present is our treasure. We cannot hope to improve our future without learning from the past. That is why we must commemorate Veterans Day.''
Leading the invocation was the Rev. Bernard Schmalzried of St. Mary's Church in Warren, and performing the benediction was Pastor Dave Luther of Christ Memorial Church. Herm Breuer, director of Trumbull County's Veterans Service Commission, was the master of ceremony.
Dan Gardner of Lordstown said his service in the Army, 1990 to 1994, took him ''all around the world, twice,'' including parts of the world his grandfather's served in when they fought in World War II.
''I can't imagine what those soldiers had to go through,'' said Gardner, who intended to stop by the graves of grandfather's after Monday's ceremony.
Dave Smith, who served in the Army from 1975 to 1978, said the event he attends regularly, causes him to reflect on the sacrifice by past soldiers and freedom gained, and future military service members.
Afterward, the annual Trumbull County Veterans Day Parade began near Perkins Park and weaved its way through the downtown. As was in past years, local veterans profiled weekly by the Tribune Chronicle were driven in cars provided by Diane Sauer Chevrolet.
About 60 units were in the parade, including local businesses, organizations, clubs, and veterans and auxiliary groups, and the Warren G. Harding Marching Band.
Services also took place in other communities throughout Trumbull County.
At the Trumbull Career and Technical Center in Champion, veteran Gary Gutelius of the U.S. Army spoke to the student body during a program which included participants from the school's ROTC program.
This was the ninth year that the school has held a veterans program honoring both the staff members who are veterans and the family members of the staff who have served.
Other events included programs held in Champion, Girard, Niles and Youngstown.
Also Monday, the Warren SCOPE Center served a lunch to local veterans. There will also open houses for veterans and their families at local American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars posts.